SiBeam to Power Your Wireless Living Room

WirelessHD may have just gained the lead in the standards war between it, WirelessUSB, and WiFi for the technology that will power our uncompressed high-def video streaming for years to come. SiBeam, a maker of a 60 Ghz fabless chip designed to the WirelessHD standard just received a cash infusion of $40 million, which will help the company get its chips into production, and into consumer electronic devices by the end of 2008.

WirelessHD moves data at speeds of 4 gigabits per second at a distance of 10 meters - faster than competing technologies. Videophiles have long dismissed the idea of using a wireless technology to transfer high-quality video because early technologies proved unreliable. But SiBeam hopes to put its chips, which send and receive integrated high-def audio and video signals, into new HDTVs, set-top boxes, DVRs, laptops, and camcorders. It also plans to sell adapter "dongles" that can attach to older products.

Panasonic and Toshiba demonstrated SiBeam's technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Other companies, like Intel, LG, NEC, Samsung, and Sony support the WirelessHD standard. Now, the only group that needs convincing is the pack of early-adopting consumers who've learned to be wary of wireless video. -Rachel Rosmarin