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The Connected Home of the Future: Understanding market and technology trends

Ganesh Guruswamy
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Ganesh Guruswamy
A lot has been written about intelligent, connected homes - once a distant dream for many sci-fi aficionados. With a range of networking, wireless technologies powered by breakthroughs in electronic design,this vision is closer than you think. Let’s look at some key trends and technologies.

I. Rapid adoption of digital media
An iSuppli study predicts 120 million installed home networks in 2009, from the current 45 million present worldwide today.Over 50% of these will be media-enabled for "anywhere, anytime" access to digital content. Increasing proliferation of digital content such as downloadable music,games and movies is fuelling the demand for converged network platforms.

Most customers seek a simplified user experience; OEMs need reference platforms that for customer premise equipment (CPE) with remote access capabilities and home-based content management over one simple user interface.

A lot of industry collaboration today focuses on hardware/ software reference platforms for "location-free control access" residential gateways. These are designed for OEMs, ODMs and service providers who want to develop digital home CPE keeping in mind time-to-market and cost pressures.

A high level of integration in the communications processor helps lower system costs,improves performance and simplifies board design. A hardware encryption block supporting different algorithms for high-performance data authentication can make communication secure. Also,these reference platforms can leverage external components to support connectivity options and extend functionality.

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