Microtune Announces Silicon Tuner Strategy to Bring High-Speed Digital TV to Automotive MarketTuesday, November 13th, 2007
As First Phase of Its Strategy, Microtune’s Silicon TV Tuner is Implemented in a Car TV Design of Kenwood for Japanese OEM Market
PLANO, Texas — In a strategy to drive its innovative silicon tuner technology into automotive markets worldwide, Microtune®, Inc. (NASDAQ: TUNE) announced today that it is collaborating with Tier-1 suppliers and aftermarket vendors to develop specialized, automotive-grade versions of its silicon TV tuner for car entertainment systems. Microtune plans to introduce this year a state-of-the-art TV tuner integrated circuit targeted for in-car TV systems that enables rear-seat digital entertainment at high speeds.
Paving the way for this initiative, Microtune also announced today that its MicroTuner™ MT2060 tuner technology is deployed in a car TV receiver system of Kenwood, a major worldwide manufacturer of automotive electronics. Kenwood uses four MT2060 tuners in a diversity TV entertainment system that delivers terrestrial digital TV broadcast and other data services to a vehicle. Targeted to the Japanese OEM market and supporting ISDB-T, the digital terrestrial TV standard in Japan, Kenwood implements the miniature MT2060 chips to offer a car TV solution with a low-profile and superior mobile reception performance.
“Highly integrated tuners represent the future of in-car entertainment, and we are pleased to be a leader in adapting the latest RF technology to our automotive TV systems,” said Masachika Komiyama, General Executive, Strategic Technologies Development Center, Kenwood Corporation. “Our systems’ experience, coupled with Microtune’s silicon tuner expertise and established position as an automotive supplier, positions us to bring advanced TV entertainment capabilities to consumers in integrated, forward-looking and passenger-friendly designs.”
“Consumer electronics applications historically have migrated from the home to the automobile, and we are now beginning to see the transition of digital TV to mobile drivers and passengers. We are pleased to be working with Kenwood as they advance the market for new digital entertainment features,” said James A. Fontaine, Microtune President and CEO. “We are committed to the in-car entertainment market as part of our overall strategy to develop TV tuners for the full spectrum of digital TV appliances and applications.”
New Digital TV Standards Enable High-Speed TV
With the transition of TV broadcast from analog to digital transmission, new digital standards such as DVB-T and ISDB-T enable excellent car TV video and audio quality – with stable, clear pictures – at speeds of up to 180km/hour (112 miles/hour). Additionally, rear-seat mounted video displays are increasing in consumer popularity and are expected to be adopted by auto makers not only in high-end vehicles, but also as an option in mid-level cars. Both technological and market factors are driving new design-in opportunities for silicon TV tuner electronics in the automotive entertainment markets.
Mr. Fontaine added, “The automotive market has provided stable, predictable and sustained business for the company, and we see the opportunity to transition our automotive customers from traditional can tuners to highly integrated silicon tuners as an emerging market. It provides the potential not only to expand our customer base but also to penetrate new markets in Asia, in particular Japan. With our long history as a supplier to the automotive market and with our portfolio of customer-proven digital TV tuners, we are well positioned to provide the enabling RF technology that permits our automotive customers to develop car-TV systems that enhance the vehicle passenger experience.”
Microtune In The Automotive Market
Having supplied major automotive customers for more than a decade, Microtune today enjoys a dominant market share in the car TV market in Europe, where, unlike the U.S., digital TV standards (DVB-T) support broadcast TV mobility. The company currently offers advanced interior and on-glass technologies that deliver in-vehicle radio, telematics and off-air TV experiences for passengers.
The company was a pioneer in engineering a TV tuner module for an OEM car TV receiver and supports advanced multi-tuner RF solutions for car TV diversity systems. The company’s automotive-grade products are engineered to meet the TV reception requirements of the harsh vehicular environment, and its silicon products comply with the stringent Automotive Education Council (AEC) Q100 quality standards for integrated circuit electronics.
Currently, Microtune’s OEM and aftermarket RF solutions are enabling in-car entertainment systems from world-class OEM suppliers whose customers include Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Land Rover, Porsche and General Motors.