Prof. Meir Feder, co-founder of Amimon, admits that the company’s chipset solution is unconventional.New electronic devices we buy for our home are supposed to make our lives more comfortable, interesting and convenient. With all our modern advances, why are we still tripping over thousands of wires in the living room and den?
An Israeli company Amimon has developed a chipset solution set to make American homes truly wire-free. It’s such an exciting and affordable solution that six of the world’s leading technology companies have rallied together under a new consortium — the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) — to bring the Israeli technology to homes everywhere.
They include giants such as Sony, Sharp, Motorola and Hitachi, who are planning to embed Amimon’s core technology in a number of products, such as HDTVs, PCs, multimedia projectors, and new game consoles.
One of the problems of any solution for HD wireless video is the cost. In this respect, industry experts believe that with new competition and solutions developed by companies like Amimon, the price could drop to about $10 per device within the next year or so.
Under the WHDI group, the large tech companies are already starting to replace messy A/V wires with Amimon’s technology, which has the power to deliver uncompressed HD video, without the wires.
Based on information theory, the company’s solution is “a combination of a few things,” says co-founder Prof. Meir Feder, who is also a faculty member at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering. “It’s based on the understanding that transmitting video is different than data,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
When transmitting data files such as computer files or credit card information during online transactions, the information must arrive flawlessly, and quickly. But it’s not necessary for data of that nature to arrive in “real time,” says Feder. “If it takes longer to download, it’s no big deal. But in video transmission, this doesn’t work. Users expect to see their video or games in real time,” he explains.
Put it on your Christmas list
However, he realized, it is possible to be less than perfect, when transmitting video data from DVDs, or the cable set-top box, wirelessly to a TV: “If some bits don’t arrive properly, there may be some errors but generally with Amimon’s solution the eyes won’t notice it. I understood that distinction, and this is the theory behind the new technology. It’s an unconventional solution,” he explains.
Amimon’s wireless chipset sends high-definition video signals over the 5-Gigahertz band. At that frequency, and with Amimon’s unique modulation, the signals (representing video with up to 3Gbps) can pass through obstacles such as walls, and therefore can be accessed by devices even placed in different rooms.
Sharp already has an Amimon wireless chip in a TV selling in Japan, and Feder expects the technology to be available in the United States just in time for Christmas. It could be a boon for renters and the fickle homeowner — an HDTV can be moved around without a trail of unsightly wires trailing behind, or drilling new holes in the wall.
Feder, a co-founder of the company has consulted a number of high-tech companies including Intel. He previously founded Peach Networks, a server-based interactive TV system, later acquired by Microsoft. Amimon, which he co-founded in 2004, employs 80 people at a Herzliya, Israel headquarters, and in Japan, Korea, and Santa Clara, United States.