The complicated world of wireless HD delivery just got a little more interesting today, as Panasonic and Samsung both made strategic investments in chipmaker SiBEAM. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
The financial support of the two consumer electronics giants gives a boost not only to SiBEAM but to the WirelessHD standard, which uses the 60GHz spectrum to wirelessly beam HD video in the home. It’s just one of many wireless options vying to become the de facto HD transmission standard, including Wi-Fi, Ultra-wideband and WHDI.
But consumer electronics companies are hedging their bets as the standards process shakes out. Sharp, Sony and Samsung support WirelessHD and the proprietary WHDI standard, developed by Israel-based Amimon. SiBEAM offers a point-to-point transmission solution, while Amimon promises to blanket an entire home in rich, creamy HD. However, the Amimon-based solution (which is already being used in Japan) can add $800 to the cost of a device, whereas SiBEAM says its chips will only add between $80 and $100.
SiBEAM isn’t alone in the 60GHz chip market; Vubiq is attempting to do the same thing. Prior to Panasonic and Samsung’s investment, SiBEAM had raised a total of $77.5 million since the company’s founding in 2004, including a $40 million round raised this past April.
SiBEAM CEO John LeMoncheck told us in September that his company’s product would hit the market in Spring of 2009.