IAdea Corporation, a Taiwan-based licensee of BitTorrent technology, and Star Semiconductor Corporation, an affiliate of the semiconductor giant UMC Group, jointly announced the availability of STR9810/20 -- the world's first BitTorrent-optimized microprocessor chip.
Most of the BitTorrent downloads today are done by software that runs on the PC. The new microprocessor will enable consumer electronics hardware makers to create devices that directly download and play BitTorrent content.
"I remember in the old days people first watched DVDs on the PC, like how BitTorrent is used on the PC today," says Steven Huang, Chairman and CEO of Star Semiconductor Corporation, the co-developer of the new chip. "Very soon our chip will enable millions of consumer devices to run BitTorrent and help consumers do what they do today on the PC using just a simple remote control."
The BitTorrent-optimized STR9810/20 microprocessors will be available in Q1, 2007. Two versions of the chip are available with various hardware-based acceleration levels. Both chips feature an ARM922-based core, network interface and dual USB 2.0 high-speed ports, allowing fast integration with existing embedded consumer products such as wireless routers, NAS, smart HDD enclosures, DVD players, set-top boxes and DLNA digital media appliances. The chips will be available to systems designers starting at $8.75 in quantities of 1,000.
"BitTorrent is going to fundamentally advance the Web to its next stage. New digital appliances utilizing our chip work cooperatively to deliver large media files. This new service architecture is infinitely scalable, delivers faster as more users join, and can be built at a fraction of the cost of a traditional server farm," says John C. Wang, CEO of IAdea Corporation, the developer of the technology inside the new chip. "We see this trend emerging as 'Web 3.0' where each consumer becomes part of a universal content storage and delivery system. Our new chip plays part in the new paradigm by making BitTorrent available efficiently and economically. You should not be surprised if you find your next car or cellphone enabled with our technology."
BitTorrent has signed content license agreements with over 20 leading entertainment companies, including 20th Century Fox, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, to deliver large media files to millions of viewers simultaneously without investing heavily in server hardware and bandwidth. BitTorrent also found its way into consumer electronic-level digital boxes from ASUS, Planex and QNAP, that do not require PC intervention to download files.
"BitTorrent continues to expand its roster of partners along the digital content value chain -- from content destination sites to the semiconductors that power the most popular consumer electronic devices," said Ashwin Navin, President and Co-Founder of BitTorrent. "The growing BitTorrent ecosystem reflects our vision for BitTorrent embedded everywhere people want an improved entertainment experience."