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Intel Announces FXS Card. Eh?

This past week Intel (INTC) announced the Intel 600SM PCI Phone Adaptor.  Billed as a means to allow you to talk using PC VoIP clients, but be “untethered” from your PC, it was hard to figure out exactly what this device was.  After digging through the marketing spin, it quickly became apparent that the 600SM PCI card is in fact, nothing more than a common-a-garden FXS card, bundled with some software to let it be controlled by and control various popular PC softclients like Skype, CounterPath XTEN and so on.  Dan Warne provides more details.  It’s an ATA, controlled by proprietary software, on a PCI card.

Dumb?  Maybe not.  Coming to you straight from the Department of Rampant Speculation… Available only to PC OEMs, and not to the end user, this may be the precursor of an initiative to put an ATA on every motherboard.  That would change the landscape.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Aswath June 8, 2006, 12:52 pm

    In my opinion the product is disappointing in more critical respects. First, on the positive side it supports wideband codec – it is not clear which one it is. I hope it is an open source one like Speex rather than one that requires a license. Other than that the product is full of missed opportunities:
    1. They should have built an FXO port as well and made it into a PhoneGnome clone (one can do it without touching PG's rights).
    2. Since the "ATA" resides in the PC, it is a simple matter to do click-to-dial, with the ATA performing a third-party call setup. Great for address book dialing and for web click-to-call.
    3. They should have included DECT base station and driven the screen with enhanced call information.
    4. There are many other features that exploits the big screen and a huge storage device that PC brings to the table. Then one would be compeled to use this product even though it requires a PC running all the time.

    Given all that, if it is a PCMCIA form factor, rather than PCI card, it will have much wider use, because people can use it with laptops.

    If only they will ask me… :-)

  • Alec June 8, 2006, 3:45 pm

    Great critique Aswath! If only…

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