Airgo snags deal for wIPTV in the home

WiFi chip maker Airgo Networks announced a deal with Caton Overseas and STMicroelectronics that will put Airgo's WiFi chips into IPTV set-top boxes (STBs) in Asia, Europe and elsewhere. Caton is a Chinese STB manufacturer for satellite and cable TV providers in Asia and Europe, while STMicroelectronics provides chips to STB manufacturers like Siemens and Cisco Systems' Scientific Atlanta. Airgo says it has tweaked its MIMO technology to improve throughput, range and reliability in order to carry the video packets. The company said its next gen chips can transmit at speeds up to 240 Mbps, which is enough to transmit three HDTV channels, according to the company.

George Ou over at ZDNet says Airgo's move into IPTV does not mark the best choice for the industry because impressive average throughputs like Airgo's are less important than best worst-case throughput. Video packets require a bare minimum throughput that Ou thinks Airgo's chips can't guarantee all the time. While Airgo compared its competitor Ruckus Wireless' MIMO IPTV solution to "suping up the engine of an old car," according to Ou, Airgo lacks the bare necessities that the Ruckus solution has provided all along. Ruckus Wireless is a 2006 Fierce 15 winner.

For more on Airgo's deal with STMicroelectronics and Caton:
- see this blog entry from ZDNet