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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 07, 2012

Tata Elxsi's RDK Licensing Accelerates Innovation in the Entertainment Sector

By Shankar Pandiath, TMCnet Contributor

Tata Elxsi (News - Alert) Ltd., a global design company leading in product engineering and innovation, is all set to revolutionize home entertainment experience through its new strategic move of licensing the RDK (Reference Design Kit) from Comcast (News - Alert). It now plans to provide software development, integration and testing services for SoC (system-on-chip) vendors and OEM’s.

Generally, it takes two years to conceive, innovate, design and deliver a new set-top box to the customer's home but Comcast's Reference Development Kit (RDK) cuts that cycle in half. The RDK is a pre-integrated software, a platform that has all the modules embedded in it to enable it to run on the chips. RDK creates a common framework for powering IP, hybrid or tru2way and video gateway devices and set-top boxes.

The RDK allows all of the interested parties to develop together and then scale across multiple environments. While it works well in today’s CableCard/QAM/MEPG-2 world, it also claims to stand the test of the IP environment of tomorrow.

It hastens the deployment of next-generation video services and improved guide experiences. Comcast licenses the RDK to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), software vendors, semiconductor manufacturers, integrators and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) thereby creating a community of innovators focused on bringing rich, next generation multi-screen TV home entertainment experiences to consumer's homes faster.

As a niche service provider, Tata Elxsi's key services include industrial design, embedded product design, animation and visual effects and systems integration. Its rich experience with development and integration over open platforms such as HTML5, Linux and QT, as well as proprietary platforms, like Adobe Flash and Microsoft (News - Alert) SilverLight enables plenty of support to customers with a single partner from development to final deployment. The RDK licensing will work with MSOs for optimization and enhancement of the software and will be able to provide software development, integration and testing services for SOC (system-on-a-chip) and OEM vendors.

The vice-president and head of Tata Elxsi's Broadcast BU, M Thangarajan, said that Tata Elxsi's long association with Comcast and experience with the RDK and tru2way technologies coupled with their system integration experience for advanced media gateways and multi-screen digital TV devices will enable customers to cut down their time-to-market significantly. He added that customers will benefit from their global presence across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and our world-class engineering teams in India, allowing for rapid integration and deployment with lowered development costs and risk.

The senior vice-president, CPE and Home Network for Comcast, Steve Reynolds said  that their goal was to make the Comcast RDK available to companies such as Tata Elxsi in order to accelerate development of an advanced software solution throughout the industry and across geographies. He added that support from Tata Elxsi and others is helping them to pave the way for broader industry adoption and deployment of this platform that enables developers, operators and device vendors to create rich, multi-screen TV home entertainment experiences and bring them to consumers faster.

With over 15 years of specialized experience of working with SoC (System-on-chip) vendors, MSOs and OEMs, and a team of over 3500+ R&D and engineering professionals Tata Elxsi is poised for accelerated growth with this timely licensing.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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