Motorola Invests in Amimon’s Wireless HD

Electronics giant Motorola is expected to announce today that it is putting its money into Amimon, a semiconductor company whose WHDI—Wireless High Definition Interface—technology is vying to become a standard for wireless high-definition video in the home.

Amimon’s WHDI pumps uncompressed video using in the 5Ghz unlicensed band, potentially enabling wireless devices to receive high definition video signals from as far as 30 meters away indoors, and up to 60 meters away outdoors or with line-of-sight. The technology currently supports resolutions from 480i to 1080i and video data rates up to 3 Gbps, and won’t interfere (or be downgraded by) technologies operating in the 2.4 GHz band, like typical cordless phones or 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking. The forthcoming 802.11n Wi-Fi operates in the same 5 GHz band, but Amimon says WHDI can automatically detect other services operating in the same frequencies and adapt around it. Amimon says the technology can be used to enable wireless HDMI (for pumping video around the house), as well as wireless VGA displays, projectors, and flat-panel televisions.

Motorola’s investment was made through its venture capital arm, Motorola Ventures. The amount of Motorola’s investment and other details of the deal were not disclosed.

“We believe that AMIMON’s WHDI technology is setting a new standard in wireless HDTV connectivity which nicely aligns with Motorola’s connected home strategy,” said Reese Schroeder, managing director, Motorola Ventures, in a statement. “Our investment reflects our belief that Amimon’s solution is well positioned to offer a high quality wireless uncompressed HDTV link between video sources such as digital set-top and high-definition TVs.”

The advantage of Amimon’s technology is that it offers enough bandwidth to serve uncompressed video, eliminating the requirement to re-compress video for transmission and (inevitably) adding latency and making it look somewhat less stellar. Other technologies which have been considered for wireless high definition video include UWB and 802.11n. Amimon has been around a while initially forecasting WHDI products would begin shipping in the latter half of 2006; the company did show a WHDI-enabled wireless projector from Sanyo this last January at the CES show in Las Vegas.