Broadcast Asia: MaxLinear and ST Highlight Multi-Channel UHD Gateway Platform

MaxLinear Inc., a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, and STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, will demonstrate a next-generation multi-channel ultra high definition (UHD) gateway platform in ST’s booth at Broadcast Asia in Singapore, June 17-20.

The 4K UHD satellite gateway platform, a collaboration between MaxLinear and ST, is targeted at the growing number of satellite pay-TV operators looking to deliver broadcast 4K services along with other value-added features such as multi-channel recording, multi-room viewing and content streaming to multiple devices throughout the home.

“The demonstration at Broadcast Asia of this Ultra HD HEVC satellite gateway highlights the beauty and efficiency of the reference design ST and MaxLinear announced a few months ago,” said Hervé Mathieu, Box and Gateways Business Line Director, Unified Platform Division, STMicroelectronics. “Attendees can’t help but recognize that UHD is providing the next-level user experience and extraordinary opportunity for satellite broadcasters—and the suitability of the ST/MaxLinear solution.”

The platform features the MaxLinear MxL582 Full-Spectrum CaptureTM (FSC) satellite receiver, which captures the entire satellite RF band and provides up to eight DVB-S/S2 transport stream outputs. The MxL582 is part of the MxL5x2 family of SoC’s that feature complete, single chip multi-channel receiver solutions with no external LNA, ultra-low power consumption and industry-leading performance. The MxL5x2 SoC’s support single cable (Unicable) distribution and Extended L-Band (XL-Band) input frequencies from 250 MHz to 2350 MHz.

The STiH412 from ST handles the back-end decoding and video processing in the design. This system-on-chip provides high-efficiency video-decoding (HEVC/ H.265) multi-channel decode, UHD display, multi-channel recording to an internal or external hard drive, video-on-demand (VOD) and real-time transcoding of up to three streams and state-of-the-art HD graphics.

“The combined system solution with MaxLinear front-end and ST back-end provides a very compelling value proposition in terms of power, performance and price,” said Brian Sprague, MaxLinear’s Vice President and General Manager. “This platform provides our customers with a cutting-edge solution to address the growing demand for 4K home media gateways and multi-channel streaming throughout the home.”

The ST Cannes/Monaco SoC design is based on dual-core ARM processors, superior 2D/3D graphics performance with a Mali™ GPU, integrated hardware Faroudja® multimedia subsystem with HEVC video decoder, high-performance video encoder and high-quality video pre- and post-processing.

Technical Highlights – MxL5x2

The MxL5x2 family includes two devices with XL-Band support, MxL582 and MxL542. The MxL582 includes two XL-Band inputs and eight demodulators. The MxL542 includes two XL-Band inputs and four demodulators. Both devices are pin-compatible and integrate an RF splitter, which enables flexible designs that can support from four to 16 demodulators with common hardware and software. MxL5x2 devices are currently in volume production and available in a very low cost 10mm x 10mm QFN package.

The MxL5x2 devices integrate all active front-end components, including the low-noise amplifiers (LNA). 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.

The low-power and power-control flexibility of the MxL5x2 devices enable compliance with the requirements of Energy Star and the European Code of Conduct for Digital TV Services and Broadband Equipment, in both standby and full operating modes.

Technical Highlights - STiH412

The ‘Monaco’ SoC family provides an economical, yet full-featured solution for media server applications. It delivers high computing capabilities based on ARM multi-core processors, superior 2D/3D graphics performance, integrated hardware video encoders with pre-processing and Faroudja®-enhanced video processing. The devices also feature a comprehensive security toolbox for premium content delivery. The ST Faroudja Transcode Engine provides best-in-class transcoding capabilities for multi-screen experiences across consumer and handheld devices. This allows operators to reduce their network bandwidth while offering an excellent quality of service throughout the home. The ‘Monaco’ family includes the ‘Ultra HD’ STiH412 (4Kp30, VP8), and cost-optimized derivatives (STiH410 and STiH407) for full HD (1080p) markets.

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