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The May 17, 2009 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Aneesh Chopra has been named the first CTO for the U.S. by President Obama. Chopra is currently Virginia’s secretary of technology and Virginia's CTO. Chopra's formal title will be Associate Director for Technology under the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. ( www.ostp.gov )

David French has been named CEO of Quantenna Communications, a developer of silicon for high-speed, wireless high definition (HD) video home networking. Most recently, French was president and CEO of Cirrus Logic. ( www.quantenna.com )

Paolo Pastorino is now Business Development and Marketing Manager at Loquendo. He was previously CTO of the Home Gateway Initiative. ( www.loquendo.com )


Company News

Acquisitions

Carphone Warehouse Group's wholly owned subsidiary Talk Talk is acquiring the U.K. assets of Italian carrier Tiscali for £236 million. As a result, Carphone Warehouse will become the U.K.'s second-largest broadband service provider (behind BT) and its largest residential broadband provider. ( www.cpwplc.com ) ( www.talktalk.co.uk ) ( www.tiscali.co.uk )

Ikanos Communications has agreed to purchase the Broadband Access product line from Conexant Systems for $54 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. In connection with this transaction, Tallwood Venture Capital has agreed to purchase 24 million shares of Ikanos common stock for $42 million. Upon completion of the transactions, Tallwood will own approximately 45 percent of Ikanos outstanding shares. ( www.ikanos.com ) ( www.conexant.com ) ( www.tallwoodvc.com )

Macrovision Solutions has acquired Muze, a provider of entertainment information products and discovery services, for $16.5 million in cash. ( www.macrovision.com ) ( www.muze.com )

Funding

Beceem Communications, a WiMax chip company, has raised a $20 million funding round. ( www.beceem.com )

Stoke, a broadband gateway provider for wireless carriers, has raised $15 million from a mix of returning backers and new investors. ( www.stoke.com )


Other News

ABC Enterprises, a Walt Disney Co. unit, has joined with NBC Universal, owned by General Electric and Vivendi, and the News Corporation, owner of Fox, and Providence Equity Partners as a joint venture partner and equity owner of online video aggregator Hulu. CBS is the only major broadcast network that has not participated in the joint venture. ( abc.go.com ) ( www.nbcuni.com ) ( www.fox.com ) ( www.provequity.com ) ( www.hulu.com ) ( www.cbs.com )

Adobe Systems announced the extension of its Flash Platform to connected digital home devices with an optimized implementation of Flash technology that delivers high definition (HD) video and rich applications to Internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices in the digital living room. Major System-on-Chips (SoC) vendors, OEMs, cable operators and content providers including Atlantic Records, Broadcom, Comcast, Disney Interactive Media Group, Intel, Netflix, STMicroelectronics, The New York Times Company, NXP Semiconductors and Sigma Designs announced support for the optimized Flash technology. The first devices and SoC platforms with support for the technology are expected to ship in the second half of 2009.( www.adobe.com )

Clearwire announced plans to commercially launch the CLEAR branded mobile WiMAX service in Atlanta this June; in Las Vegas this summer; and in Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth later this year. ( www.clearwire.com )

Novatel Wireless has had both Verizon Wireless and Sprint adopt their MiFi 2200 Personal Hotspot to provide their customers a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. The unit is battery powered and combines a 3G wireless modem with the capability to support multiple simultaneous WiFi connections, allowing customers to share their 3G connection with up to 5 users. ( www.novatelwireless.com ) ( www.verizonwireless.com ) ( www.sprint.com )


Standards & Alliances

WiGig

Technology companies from the CE, PC, semiconductor and handheld industries have formed the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig). Board Members include Atheros, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, LG Electronics, Marvell, MediaTek, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, and Wilocity. The group's mission is "to unify the next generation of wireless products by encouraging the adoption and widespread use of 60 GHz wireless technology worldwide." The WiGig "standard" is intended to transmit data within a single room at approximately 6 gigabits per second, an appropriate speed for delivering high-definition video between computers and TV set-top boxes. Other wireless technology contenders for this application include Wireless HD, Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDi) and ultra wideband Wireless USB. ( www.wigig.org ) ( www.whdi.org ) ( www.wirelesshd.org ) ( www.whdi.org ) ( www.usb.org/developers/wusb )