dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Intel Makes New Digital Home Investments

Chipmaker Intel has made three new investments in companies that specialize in making software for digitizing the home.

Intel Capital pumped undisclosed amounts into networking and support software concern Gteko, as well as additional financing for online services specialist Synacor, and digital magazine distributor Zinio Systems.

Israel-based Gteko, whose customers include HP, Cisco-Linksys and Canon, currently offers software and services to help set up home networks. Synacor makes it possible for ISPs to bundle free and paid subscription entertainment and other services into their portals. Intel Capital first invested in the Buffalo, N.Y., company in 2003.

San Francisco's Zinio converts magazines to a digital format, replicating the printed version's look and electronically piping the content to subscribers. Intel Capital first invested in Zinio in 2002.

Santa Clara, Calif.'s Intel took the cash from the $200 million Intel Digital Home Fund launched nearly a year ago to foster technological innovation in homes.

The Intel Digital Home Fund's key focus areas include music, games, news and video, which would be delivered via multiple computing appliances in the home and even on the go, said Scott Darling, Intel Capital vice president and director of Enterprise and Digital Home sectors.

"We plan to continue to invest next year in companies that enable PC and [consumer electronics] devices to work together easily and in companies that deliver premium content services over IP networks," Darling said in a statement.

Analysts believe this is a largely untapped market, where high-tech vendors can break ground in sharing digital entertainment and information. Intel has made 12 investments in this space since creating the fund last January and announcing it at the International Electronics Show.

Intel is best known for the chips it provides for PCs and servers. But lest anyone doubt the sincerity of its digital home push, the company has linked arms with Microsoft to serve as the best link between PCs, high-definition TVs and other consumer devices in residences.

Intel Digital Home Fund investments announced earlier this year include Digital 5 Inc., Staccato Communications Inc., Trymedia Systems Inc. and Wisair Ltd., as well as CableMatrix, Mediabolic, Pure Networks, BridgeCo and Envivio.