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UK start-up Amino plans set-top box revolution

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UK start-up Amino plans set-top box revolution

IP start-up Amino Communications has completely changed its business strategy and developed an Ethernet-based set-top box which it plans to license and manufacture.

Under the direction of managing director Bob Giddy, the firm has taken one of its own reference designs for its original IP product, called IntAct, and turned it into the firm's main product. One licence has already been signed for the box with a "worldwide" company and others may be concluded before Christmas said Giddy.
"It is a box to meet the sweet-spot in performance, at an affordable price", said Giddy.

Amino also has a manufacturing partner in the Far East through which it will offer manufacturing services, with the price coming down as volume goes up.
"We will have shipped 1,000 by the end of the year to one major North American firm", said Giddy. Amino's set-top box is roughly the size of a cigarette box.

When asked about the risk of entering an already competitive market that is new ground for the firm, Giddy said: "We know the risk but we have been clear and decisive. We have a product targeted at a growing market. We had to do something positive or continue pushing the old idea... By Q1 of next year we will have proved the case or not."

Giddy, however, is convinced the firm will be shipping tens of thousands of its set-top boxes next year and expects the firm to grow to about 50 people from its current 35 staff.

Money from its first licensing deal will last the firm the whole of next year, said Giddy, although the firm may look for some additional working capital towards the end of 2003.

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