MaxLinear enters satellite digital outdoor-unit market

Monday, January 6th, 2014
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MaxLinear Enters Satellite Digital Outdoor-Unit Market With Family of Single-Chip Full-Spectrum Capture™ SoCs

LAS VEGAS — CES — MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, today announced the MxL86x family of 24-channel, Full-Spectrum Capture™ (FSC™) band translation and channel stacking system on chip (SoC) devices that are the industry’s lowest-power single-chip solutions for next-generation satellite digital outdoor units (ODUs).

With a very high level of integration and the industry’s lowest power consumption, the MxL86x chips are designed for worldwide satellite operators that are transitioning to high-density, channel-stacking ODUs. The devices are also suitable for multi-dwelling unit switches.

The availability of next-generation digital ODUs is essential to satellite operators being able to deploy media gateway server set-top-boxes inside the home that can simultaneously deliver multiple channels to multiple IP-client devices such as television screens, IPTV set-tops, smartphones, tablets and others.

Existing analog channel-stacking ODUs are based on complex multi-chip solutions that require expensive external discrete RF filters, a separate microcontroller, and additional FSK or DISEqC ICs for communication between the set-top box (STB) and the ODU. Those solutions do not scale beyond 12 channels stacked in L-Band due to RF filtering architecture limitations.

Leveraging MaxLinear’s ultra-low power Full-Spectrum Capture technology, the MxL86x single-chip devices integrate a complete 24-channel digital stacking switch platform, including filters, communication modems and a microcontroller, which dramatically reduces the ODU system costs and addresses significant legacy thermal design challenges.

MaxLinear’s ultra-low power FSC technology is ideally suited to meet the stringent low power constraints imposed by cost and safety requirements of delivering power from the home set-top-box to the outdoor unit, on the very same coaxial cable that brings the signals into the home.

This 24-channel implementation simplifies the cabling infrastructure to the home and meets the increasing demand for multi-channel content distribution, enabling multi-screen, fast-channel change and PVR applications.

“These new devices are part of MaxLinear’s aggressive expansion into the satellite ODU market by taking advantage of its inherently low-power CMOS process technology and its advanced FSC and multi-channel capabilities to provide high performance, low-power digital ODU solutions,” said Brian Sprague, Vice President and General Manager for Broadband and Consumer Products. “Satellite operators get lower installation cost and less complexity along with the ability to deploy new multi-channel services over a single-cable infrastructure.”

The devices are the latest in the company’s comprehensive satellite product line that includes multi-channel DVB-S/S2 receivers for set top boxes, gateways and other customer premise equipment, and now digital ODU SoCs.

Technical Details

The MxL86x product family includes the MxL868, MxL865 and MxL862.

The MxL868 features eight FSC L-band RF inputs that can be configured for either residential or MDU ODU applications. The device supports three intermediate-frequency (IF) output ports that can be configured for either dual-band/triple-band translation or channel-stacking applications. The MxL865 has five FSC wideband RF inputs with a single L-band IF output. The MxL865 supports a total RF capture bandwidth of 10 GHz. The MxL862 has two FSC wideband RF inputs with a single L-band IF output. The MxL862 supports a total RF capture bandwidth of 4.1GHz.

The MxL86x family supports both FSK and DiSEqC / EN50607 operation on the IF ports. The devices come with a software environment that includes a real-time operating system running on an embedded 32-bit CPU with a complete set of APIs to control the band translation and channel stacking engine and the chip interfaces.

The ultra small parts are packaged in a 10mm x 10mm QFN. The highly integrated devices also feature all major supporting analog functions, such as broadband input and output filters, RF gain blocks, PLLs and automatic gain control (AGC) functionality. Due to the high levels of system integration, the bill of material (BOM) in end applications is reduced to a minimal number of low-cost, passive components, which enables ultra-compact, low-cost system solutions when compared to existing analog implementations.


All MxL86x products are now sampling. Product sales information is available from MaxLinear’s worldwide sales force or by emailing