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Qualcomm Atheros unveils its first WiFi display technology, wants to share

Qualcomm Atheros unveils its first WiFi display technology, wants to share
Mat Smith
Mat Smith|@thatmatsmith|January 10, 2012 12:30 PM

Qualcomm's taken to the stage at CES and it's got some WiFi-connected displays to show the hungry tech journo crowd. Throwing in peer-to-peer connectivity, devices will be able to transmit screen images, audio content and more. It'll be joined by Qualcomm's new media shifting platform Skifta, but rest assured, there's the typical WiFi security options, including WPA2, to keep what you share under wraps.

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Qualcomm Atheros Introduces First Generation of Wi-Fi Display-enabled Connectivity Solutions

Technology Allows Consumers to Share Content Wirelessly Among Tablets, Smartphones, Computers, TVs and other Consumer Electronics Products

LAS VEGAS – January 10, 2012 – Qualcomm Atheros Inc., the networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced the availability of its first generation of Wi-Fi® Display-enabled peer-to-peer connectivity solutions. This first set of Qualcomm Atheros' solutions will serve as the foundation for a new generation of interoperable consumer electronics that allow users to easily share content from device to device without the need for an Internet connection, network or access point. Wi-Fi Display is an industry standard devised by members of the Wi-Fi Alliance that enables sharing of the screen image or audio content of one device simultaneously on another nearby device, including simple and secure device discovery and pairing. For example, the Web page appearing on a computer screen can be shared on the screen of a nearby enabled TV. A typical use case could enable content on one smartphone screen to be shared with a nearby media tablet. The technology underlying Wi-Fi Display allows a direct, peer-to-peer wireless connection known in the industry as Wi-Fi Direct.

The implementation of Wi-Fi Display will be particularly useful for devices like smartphones and tablets, allowing users to consume content on nearby consumer electronics with larger screens. Wi-Fi Display technology leverages the 5 GHz wireless band, which offers up to 24 non-overlapping channels (or the 2.4 GHz band, which offers three non-overlapping channels) for relatively interference-free transmission of latency-sensitive media content. Wi-Fi Direct technology is the foundation for the Qualcomm Atheros Wi-Fi Display implementation, making Wi-Fi Display easy to enable and use. The specification keeps data safe and secure by using the latest Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security mechanisms and provides effective, industry-supported content protection mechanisms that free consumers to share content securely between devices. Wi-Fi Display certified devices also eliminate the need for consumers to use cumbersome cables.


Qualcomm Atheros Launches Skifta Media Shifting Platform for the Connected Home
Skifta Wireless Audio Adapter Development Kit Revealed as First Component of New Platform

LAS VEGAS – January 10, 2012 – Qualcomm Atheros Inc., the networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced the introduction of the Skifta™ Media Shifting Platform for entertainment-driven consumer electronics. Skifta powered devices will create the framework for an interoperable wireless platform, ideal for accessing and streaming digital music, photos and videos around the home. The first component to be unveiled is the Skifta Wireless Audio Adapter, which is designed for manufacturers seeking to offer consumers a way to retrofit their legacy audio devices with both connectivity and support for Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). Regardless of the connection, consumers can use the Skifta Wireless Audio Adapter to stream music and audio effortlessly throughout the home.

The Skifta Platform will provide device manufacturers and their customers with a new hardware ecosystem that builds on the strength of the Skifta Android™ application and promotes the wireless connected home to a broader audience of media consumers. Skifta transforms any Android device into a global media remote control, helping consumers access and enjoy their music, videos and photos at home over Wi-Fi and while on the move with 3G.

"The Skifta Platform is at the heart of a new connected home strategy from Qualcomm Atheros designed to push the boundaries of smart devices and provide endless entertainment opportunities for users," said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, networking business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "We want to introduce more consumers to the experience of unfettered wireless access and control of the content and electronic devices they use in their everyday lives. The Skifta product line is a unique bundling of compatible hardware and software with benefits that will appeal to manufacturers and consumers alike."

Skifta hardware development kits and embedded software for manufacturers will be available in the coming months for products in the Skifta product line, including modules for stereos, wireless speakers, TVs, set-top boxes, wireless routers, network attached storage (NAS) drives and other digital A/V adapters. The Skifta Android application will help consumers stream and enjoy content on the Skifta-ready products, as well as on standard DLNA Certified® or UPnP devices. The Skifta platform additionally incorporates a channel library, which provides manufacturers with a selection of cloud-based content they can offer their customers. Skifta channels give immediate access to Facebook Photos, Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, Soma.fm, ShoutCast, Revision 3, TED Talks and more. The development kit will have Wi-Fi, powerline communications and Ethernet networking support for distribution of content within the home.

Pricing and Availability
The Skifta Wireless Audio Adapter hardware development kit, as well as other components of the Skifta Platform, will be available in the first half of 2012. Skifta for Android is free to download immediately from the Android Market and is currently available for smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 or higher. The Skifta desktop application for remote access to media stored at home (PC, Mac and Linux) is available at www.skifta.com. For regular Skifta updates, follow us at www.twitter.com/skifta or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/skifta.
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