Q: Device manufacturers are strongly interested in the schedule like when they can start using WirelessHD chips. Is your chip product being developed toward commercialization as scheduled?
Marshall: We are on schedule. Related manufacturers will probably make a certain announcement at International CES 2009, which will take place in the US in January 2009. We can't disclose the details yet, though. We believe that compatibility tests have been conducted as scheduled too.
Q: I would like to ask you about SiBEAM now. Impacted by the recent global financial crisis, consumer product-related ventures are reportedly struggling. Among semiconductor manufacturers that target the wireless audio-visual equipment market, in particular, some manufacturers developing UWB and other wireless chips have been forced to terminate their development. What is the situation of SiBEAM like?
Marshall: SiBEAM has no problems. We already procured US$40 million in funding in April 2008. With this fund, we would be solid for a few years even if we did not have any income. Our business platform has already been established, with leading companies including Panasonic Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd providing capital to us.
Q: SiBEAM already started shipping its WirelessHD chipset, but some people seem to think that its price is high. How about the cost of your product?
Marshall: We have always emphasized the importance of comparisons on a total BOM (bill of material) basis. We believe that our solution is within a range where it can well compete with rival products on the basis of total BOM including peripheral components.
For example, our RF chip is packaged with an antenna array. Therefore, it requires no external antenna and enables users to cut a material component cost.
In addition, we are now developing a next-generation product to reduce the mounting area by further integrating our chip and reducing the number of peripheral materials. We can't reveal a detailed roadmap now, but chip size and board mounting area will be drastically diminished from now on.