High hopes for HDMI stick
Nufront’s strategy doesn’t stop at the apps processor. The company is
rolling out its first-generation GSM/WCDMA 3G baseband chip, TeLink
7619. Calling it a “dual-modem platform,” the new chip incorporates
digital RF, power management and baseband, according to the company. How
this will fare against other GSM/WCDMA baseband chips from competitors
is unknown. But Nufront hopes to offer a “complete smartphone solution”
in 2013, by adding its baseband chip to NS115.
Yang made it clear that Nufront, during the second quarter this year,
acquired some essential IPRs on WCDMA. The Chinese company paid $9.0
million to InterDigital, a company with broad wireless patent portfolio.
However, it remains unclear what exactly Nufront got. InterDigital only
confirms the deal in vague terms: “We did enter into a set of
agreements with Nufront, and those agreements included the transfer of a
certain number of patents as well as other elements.” InterDigital’s
spokesman added, “Our practice is not to offer any comment on the
specifics of patent transfers with partners.”
Separately, in June, Intel cut a deal to buy about a host of wireless technology patents from InterDigital for $375 million.
Other new product areas Nufront is pursuing include an HDMI stick. The
HDMI stick, running Android OS, is designed to bring online video to a
regular TV. “At less than $50, you can turn your TV into a smart TV,”
said Nufront’s Yang. While the HDMI stick is often pegged as a
promising new market by many Chinese fabless companies, Jordan Selburn,
senior principal analyst at IHS iSuppli, sees that such a market is
“almost nonexistent” at the moment. “There are sufficient reasons to
expect that the stick form-factor could become quite popular, however,
and it wouldn’t surprise me if this became a major portion of the OTT
(over-the-top) boxes [sold independent of the service provider],” he
The “Internet of Things” is also in Nufront’s sights. The company
believes its 3G modules could be particularly useful in the vertical
market for Internet of Things applications.
HDMI stick, running Android, is designed to turn an ordinary LCD TV into a smart/Internet streaming TV.