Intel has shut down its Digital Home Group and will no longer make chips for interactive TV set-top boxes like the Google TV devices from Sony and Logitech, or the similar Boxee boxes from D-Link.As reported earlier by AnandTech, the engineers from the group are being merged into Intel’s tablet group.
Intel confirmed the move, explaining: “There is a ton of synergy between tablets and TVs (both are mainly content consumption, viewing devices) so we will combine the remaining CE businesses with the tablet organisation (headed by Doug Davis). As you can imagine, this was a tough decision – Intel led the creation and launch of the smart TV category and its first products. But, these collective actions will help to ensure that Intel has the best people focused on top business priorities.”
The move makes sense for Intel, as the first generation of Google TV has been a flop, and the prospects for interactive TV are uncertain at best.
Meanwhile, it’s been pretty clear for a while that Google was looking at ARM for the next generation of Google TV.
ARM president Tudor Brown said the company was talking with Google last November. Earlier this year sources said that the next generation of Google TV would use a faster chipset, which suggests those talks were successful.
Whatever the case, if the interactive TV revolution ever happens, it looks like it will be powered by ARM rather than Intel — just like smartphones and tablets are today.
Intel will continue to make silicon for set-top boxes for IPTV networks, and for other kinds of Internet gateways, such as cable modems.