`Dolphin' Wants to Swim in Set-Tops

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Silicon maker Equator Technologies Inc. has launched 'Dolphin,' a
reference-design platform for interactive set-top boxes, personal video
recorders and other 'video-centric' appliances.

Equator claimed that Dolphin -- which uses a hybrid software/hardware
approach -- will shorten the design cycle of those appliances. Samsung
Electronics America Inc. said it will use Dolphin in its new 'SMT F300' digital
set-top. Dolphin is expected to hit production by the fourth quarter of this
year, Equator said.

With Dolphin, 'we can rapidly create a multifunction, residential gateway
that enables providers to offer a wide variety of services through one
affordable box,' Samsung network-division senior manager H.W. Park said in a
press release.

Equator -- which does battle with market leaders such as Broadcom Corp. --
said its new chip set will also handle electronic-program-guide, streaming-media
and Web-browsing applications for still nascent
video-over-digital-subscriber-line services.

Equator also markets a family of software-driven broadband processors,
including the 'MAP-CA,' which operates at four speeds ranging from 256 megahertz
to 297 MHz. In March, Equator officials forecast that the MAP-CA could be moved
into advanced set-tops by this Christmas.