MaxLinear and MStar develop UHD satellite STB reference design

Thursday, September 8th, 2016 
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MaxLinear and MStar Develop Set-Top Box Reference Design for Ultra High Definition Satellite Broadcast TV

  • Collaboration results in highly optimized solution that accelerates time-to-market for leading satellite operators worldwide

AMSTERDAM — RAI Amsterdam, IBC Exhibition — MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for cable and satellite broadband communications, the connected home, data center, metro, long-haul fiber networks, and wireless infrastructure, and MStar Semiconductor announced a joint reference design aimed at accelerating the deployment of ultra-high definition (UHD) set-top boxes (STB) and multichannel personal video recorders (PVRs) for satellite pay-TV operators worldwide.

The new reference design combines the MxL5x2C, MaxLinear’s third-generation, single-chip Full-Spectrum Capture™ (FSC™) multichannel satellite receiver, with MStar’s high performance “K7” STB system-on-chip (SoC).

The platform incorporates up to eight tuners and supports the latest high-efficiency video coding (HEVC/H.265), ultra-high definition (UHD) “4K” video display, and high dynamic range (HDR) technologies in a very cost-effective, small form factor design. The platform is able to support all of the leading conditional access (CAS) solutions as well as and Linux- or Android-based middleware solutions from leading vendors.

The platform is scalable from three to eight tuners depending on which MaxLinear pin-compatible front end device is used. The MxL5x2C devices integrate two wideband RF inputs and support virtually all satellite low-noise block (LNB) down converter configurations, including Unicable (EN50607 & EN50494) LNBs, wideband LNBs, digital channel stacking switch (dCSS) LNBs and multiswitches. Multiple tuners enable operators to leverage the reference design to develop STBs that provide advanced services such as up to eight simultaneous recordings, ultra-fast channel change times, and streaming of live channels to multiple screens in the home.

K7 is a highly integrated, high performance ARM-based quad core and Mali multi-core GPU with a built-in 4K SOC for STB applications. The device supports a variety of video decoder/encoder formats, including MPEG-1/2/4, H.264, H.265, VC-1, VP-8, and VP-9 under advanced conditional access requirement with TEE. It also features integrated USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0a Rx/Tx, PCIe, SATA and other key interfaces that deliver important functionality for end product requirements.

“Ultra HD technology provides a compelling opportunity for satellite operators to differentiate their services and attract new customers,” said Wayne Tsai, Marketing Director at MStar. The MStar/MaxLinear UHD satellite reference design demonstrates how multi-channel UHD and HD content can be viewed on multiple different screens, transforming the viewing experience.

“HEVC and 4K are key technology drivers for all of the satellite operators,” said Will Torgerson, MaxLinear’s Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Group. “MaxLinear’s multichannel FSC satellite receivers are a perfect complement to MStar’s HEVC/4K media processors and this enables OEMs get to market quickly with a proven, competitive solution.”