Intel has shown its ambitions to extend its presence in the digital consumer electrics market with the acquisition for $68m cash and $2m in other considerations of digital broadcast technologies from Ottawa, Canada-based Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.
The key asset it is buying is the radio frequency (RF) front-end consumer business of Zarlink Semiconductor Ltd, a Swindon-UK-based operation that provides demodulation and tuner technologies to the satellite, terrestrial and cable market.
Intel said that as part of its digital home initiative, it aims to supply the silicon and software building blocks to enable the development of a wide range of CE devices, including digital televisions, digital set-top boxes and digital media recorders. The acquired technology enables the devices to receive a digital signal, extract the audio and video streams, decompress, and then either display or store the resulting image and audio broadcast.
In February, Intel bought video processing chip developer Oplus Technologies in a move that signaled its determination to become the major supplier of the silicon that will power digital home devices. It joined a range of other IT companies such as Cisco Systems that are using expertise built up in the IT sector to cash in on the growth of the digital home.