Microtune Unveils Ultra-Small, Super-Integrated MicroCeiver™ IC Platform

Monday, October 19th, 2009

New Breed of Low-Cost Receiver Chip Technology Will Enable Manufacturers to Drive Highest Audio and Video Quality in Next Generation of Cable and Consumer TV Electronics

PLANO, Texas — Microtune®, Inc. (NASDAQ: TUNE) today announced details of a new ultra-small, low-cost technology platform, named MicroCeiver™, that is the foundation for the Company’s new breed of highly integrated receiver products for the digital TV and cable TV markets.

The MicroCeiver platform is a breakthrough radio frequency (RF) analog and digital signal processing system in a single chip. A complete radio frequency (RF)-to-baseband solution, MicroCeiver technology offers the building-block architecture for a new family of fully integrated front-end receivers that will bring low cost, miniature footprints and excellent signal reception quality to manufacturers creating next-generation digital televisions, set-top boxes, cable entertainment hubs and IP video electronics. Deploying ground-breaking new features and techniques, the MicroCeiver architecture will reduce customers’ development time and production costs, while enabling them to create consumer products for global markets that span multiple applications, product lines and international television reception standards.

The MicroCeiver architecture will provide a modular path for Microtune to develop and quickly bring to market new families of cable and digital TV front-end receivers optimized for multi-standard off-air and cable TV reception, analog and/or digital modes, next-generation digital standards and very high performance.

Microtune will introduce in the coming weeks the first in the family of cable and digital TV chips based on its MicroCeiver system, and it has already demonstrated its initial product to customers.

“As digital content, devices and applications converge, manufacturers continue to seek cutting-edge technologies that will allow them to deliver the ‘what’s next’ in consumer electronics, and quality of reception is among the keys to their success. Competition, economics and environmental concerns are also forcing OEMs to find reliable, lower-cost, multi-functional components optimized for global markets and design flexibility,” said James A. Fontaine, President and CEO of Microtune. “These trends will be realized by state-of-the-art receivers, and we believe our MicroCeiver technology is one of the price/performance/size breakthroughs that will help drive the future of the worldwide digital and cable TV electronics evolution.”


The MicroCeiver system is based on a proprietary new architecture that breaks the separate tuner and demodulator paradigm. It fuses RF analog (tuner) and digital signal processing (demodulator or channel decoding) capabilities together in a symbiotic relationship in a dense single chip, erasing the distinctions across these functional boundaries. As a unique feature, it deploys internal algorithms that continually optimize key functions across the receive chain to achieve the highest-quality demodulated output.

As a complete receiver-in-a-chip, the MicroCeiver system is characterized by:

  • The best sensitivity of any receiver on the market today
    The MicroCeiver system is engineered to achieve a superior noise figure and sensitivity. Using a low noise signal path in combination with a high linearity path, it dynamically optimizes its configuration by sensing the characteristics of the incoming signal. As a result, the platform is engineered to receive TV signals in congested RF signal areas or in fringe areas, even where competitive solutions fail. The MicroCeiver architecture achieves the superb performance that has distinguished for many years Microtune’s best-in-class technology. It enables manufacturers to create end products that offer a quality, compelling viewing experience to TV and cable consumers across the most diverse of signal reception conditions.
  • Superior level of integration
    The MicroCeiver system packs support for analog and digital TV and cable standards into a single highly integrated chip. The technology enables manufacturers to develop global products with minimal additional bill of materials.
  • Optimized receive chain
    By combining RF analog and digital signal processing capabilities and integrating power reporting functions, the MicroCeiver architecture enables superior signal status reporting, better than any previous class of classic receiver configuration. This unique capability feeds signal information for every condition across the entire receiver path to optimize performance.
  • Enhanced reliability and manufacturability
    The entire MicroCeiver system results in a more compact, more reliable receiver, ensuring manufacturers peak performance and reduced manufacturing costs in a single, drop-in solution.

Together, these enhancements will enable new families of Microtune products that yield unmatched performance, smaller size and lower cost than the alternative solutions on the market today. The MicroCeiver-based products help solve OEM needs for highly efficient receiver technology delivered with the industry’s best price/performance and optimum design flexibility.

Mr. Fontaine added, “With Microtune’s history of innovation in tuners and deep experience with demodulators, we will be able to drive impressive performance into a highly integrated design to offer a complete receiver solution targeted for where TV technology is headed across the global marketplace.”

The new products built on this MicroCeiver system will extend Microtune’s family of products, including its suite of market-leading silicon tuners and high-performance demodulators, which are targeted to the cable television, digital television and automotive entertainment markets.