MaxLinear launches 1-channel ATSC tuner-demod ICs for streaming boxes

Friday, September 15th, 2017
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MaxLinear Launches Industry-First Integrated ATSC Tuner-Demodulator ICs for Cost-Effective Cord-Cutter Products

  • Multi-channel over-the-air reception capability complements a wide range of over-the-top streaming products

AMSTERDAM — MaxLinear, Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of radio frequency (RF), analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for the connected home, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multimarket applications, today announced the MxL69x family, the industry’s first family of single-channel integrated ATSC tuner-demodulator ICs.

The new device family provides a cost-effective solution for adding over-the-air (OTA) television reception to over-the-top (OTT) “cord-cutter” set-top boxes (STB) and streaming media devices.

New research from the Kagan unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence confirms that the cord-cutting trend is continuing – the company forecasts homes with “nontraditional” television packages will grow to 45 million by 2021. A key part of this trend are the homes that will install antennas to obtain OTA broadcast television, which are expected to total 15 million in the same timeframe. MaxLinear believes both market segments can benefit from the MxL69x.

“Cord cutting and skinny bundling are important trends in this industry, but what we’ve seen is that these consumers still really want to receive local channels for their favorite shows and sports. The MxL69x provides a cost-effective way to add over-the-air programming to an OTT system,” said Will Torgerson, Vice President & General Manager of the Broadband Group at MaxLinear. “These STBs are getting smaller with much more creative and thinner designs, so our tiny packaging, high level of integration and low power consumption makes multi-channel over-the-air products a reality.”

“Customers and the press give our HDHomeRun line of cord-cutter STBs high marks for functionality and innovation,” said Theodore Head, President and CEO of SiliconDust. “The low power and high level of integration of MaxLinear’s MxL69x family have enabled us to offer multi-channel OTA streaming receivers in a much smaller form factor without sacrificing any functionality.”

“The cord-cutter movement is restarting growth in terrestrial antennas with some analysts expecting the market to reach 10 million units this year,” said Vahid Manian, Chief Operating Officer of Ethertronics. “As a leader in smart antenna ICs, we’re seeing demand for smart antennas that get great coverage in ever smaller footprints. Working with MaxLinear’s cord-cutting products means we can create next-generation reference designs that meet the evolving customer requirements.”

Technical Highlights

The MxL69x is a single-chip, single-channel ATSC tuner-demodulator product line that leverages MaxLinear’s “super radio” tuner technology and digital CMOS process technology for a low-power device that delivers superior over-the-air reception performance.

The first device in the family is the MxL692, which targets digital TV, single/multi-channel STBs, USB/Wi-Fi adapters, and Wi-Fi/wired/RF smart antenna system applications. The IC supports the ATSC standard and global digital cable standards ITU-T J.83 Annexes (A, B, and C).

The MxL692 takes an RF input signal from 44MHz to 1006MHz, and outputs an MPEG transport stream in serial or parallel format. With its high-level of integration, the chip includes a broadband input filter, a channel filter, AGC, LO, PLL, and demodulators, simplifying board-level design. The device comes in a 5 x 5mm QFN package, enabling very compact system designs, reduced BOM costs and lower power consumption.

The MxL692 is controlled through an I2C interface. The IC supports either single supply operation using 3.3V, or dual-supply operation using 3.3V and 1.8V.

The MxL692 is sampling now and will be on display at IBC 2017, September 15-19, in MaxLinear’s meeting suite – RAI Hall 15 MS23.