Mirics develops global solution for TV on a PC utilizing software demodulation

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 
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Unique software demodulator is key to sub-$5 BOM for a complete multi-standard PCTV Receiver

FLEET, UK — Mirics Semiconductor announces the Mirics FlexiTV™ broadcast receiver, a complete RF, host interface and software demodulation solution for the PC platform. Mirics FlexiTV™ enables reception of all global analog and digital broadcast standards (e.g. FM, DVB-T, ATSC, DTMB), to become a standard feature on all notebook PCs. Mirics FlexiTV™ also enables a sub-$5 bill of materials (BOM) for a complete PCTV MiniCard, allowing manufacturers to develop a single broadcast receiver for global deployment, thereby benefiting from simplified manufacturing logistics and substantial economies of scale.

Mirics has combined its multi-standard RF tuner capability with its algorithmic expertise to develop the world’s first universal antenna-to-LCD broadcast receiver solution. By implementing software demodulation running on a host processor, Mirics FlexiTV™ leverages the power and abundant system memory of today’s PC platforms. This allows nomadic reception of global analog and digital broadcasts without requiring multiple silicon-based demodulators or additional system memory. In addition to reducing system cost and silicon real estate, the Mirics FlexiTV™ solution provides an easy standards upgrade path via software re-configurability, enabling future-proofing against emerging or variant broadcast standards.

Mirics FlexiTV™ solutions comprise a host-based software demodulator paired with a ‘SmartTuner’ which performs the multi-band RF tuning and digital interfacing to the host. The MSi3101 is the first in a series of SmartTuner products, and combines Mirics’ proven MSi001 poly-band tuner and the MSi2500 USB interface chip. The MSi001 features Mirics’ unique FlexiRF™ tuner architecture enabling low-power multi-band reception from 150KHz (LW) to 1.9 GHz (L-band). The MSi2500 integrates analog to digital conversion, MSi001-optimised digital signal processing, a control host and standard High Speed USB2.0 connectivity. Since Mirics’ solutions are designed with a detailed understanding of the challenges of ‘real world’ signal reception, product developers are assured ample margin to the key standards-based specifications, thereby delivering production margin and ensuring a positive Consumer experience.

Simon Atkinson, CEO, Mirics comments: “Mirics FlexiTV™ enables a truly flexible processor-based solution for PC mini-cards, dongles and ultimately motherboards, supporting reception of global TV and radio whilst simultaneously reducing the cost and size challenges of supporting multi-standard reception. Through Mirics FlexiTV™ we’re providing Consumers with the ability to enjoy established global free-to-air and mobile broadcast content. Broadcast technology is complementary to other delivery mechanisms such as IP or cellular, and allows Consumers to enjoy live media content without the potential constraint of cellular channel capacity or access to a wired internet connection. We believe that Mirics FlexiTV™ is the enabling solution that will see TV and radio reception, a compelling consumer offering, becoming a standard feature on all notebook PCs.”

The Mirics FlexiTV™ solution will be demonstrated by invitation at Computex Taipei in Taiwan from June 3rd to June 7th. The Mirics FlexiTV™ solution is priced at $3 in volume, and comprises Mirics’ SmartTuner and the host-based demodulation software. Mirics FlexiTV™ is now sampling to select Mirics partners.