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Intel to Re-enter HDTV Realm By Acquiring Oplus

Chipmaker Intel announced in late February it has entered into an agreement to buy Oplus Technologies, , a provider of video processing products for DTV and digital displays, including HD. The deal would grant Intel access to the necessary expert technology to complement the company's standard offerings of silicon and software for the consumer electronics market, according to Intel

If some of this sounds like déjà vu all over again, Intel had announced ambitious plans back at the 2004 CES to develop LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) chips for HD. Those plans were abruptly canceled last fall--along with several other Intel projects--when Intel said LCoS development would not have provided enough return-on-investment quickly enough to make the venture worthwhile at the present time. (LCoS technology has generally been plagued by some widely publicized problems that eventually may be overcome.)

Oplus is a privately held semiconductor company based in Israel that designs and markets integrated circuits and software for flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs, projection systems, and what it calls "emerging digital display applications." Intel said it would now focus on delivering silicon and software "building blocks" to enable a wider range of consumer electronics devices--including digital STBs, DVRs, and HD and SD digital monitors.