Originally Posted by replayrob
We were discussing adding a network port to this media player, we weren't discussing the decoder chip- that's why I mentioned that a full blown NIC card retails for $6.
AFAIK- when embedding a network interface IC on a motherboard or device it's the same IC as used on a standalone NIC... it's just mounted to the motherboard not a standalone NIC. So when they can retail the full NIC w/driver disk and packaging for $6 I imagine the network interface IC itself in raw trays/bulk without the rest of the NIC hardware/packaging/driver, etc would probably be in the $2 range.
For media players, network functionality is typically integrated into the main decoder chip, rather than being an additional IC. The 1055 IC is not built with any networking features, so it's not as simple as adding a network port. When it is as simple as adding a network port, you are right, the cost can be very low. We recently released a network enabled version of our MPLAY-HD player called the MPLAY-HD Net (it took our creative team 3 months to settle on this name). It sells for only $5 more because in this case, the core decoder chip already supports networking, so we only had to add a port and the appropriate software.
I don't think prices in the computer market can be compared to those of media players, as the volume differences are staggering. In the interest of protecting their business model, all of the major solution providers use proprietary hardware and software bits and control access to their SDK vigorously.
To be frank, I doubt any media player companies out there can afford to sell the 1055 at $40 even without network capabilities. Currently the only players that can be sold at the $30 mark are 8613 based players.