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Congratulations to Maxlinear and Entropic on their strategic tie-up.  This will provide value to the Pay TV sector, including both satellite and cable operators.  Ultimately, the level of integration can increase while leveraging operational (SG&A) benefits.

Providing some context, the summary of a piece of research, Intel-Entropic-Maxlinear Pairing Makes Sense, published late last October:

While Broadcom delivers highly integrated reference designs, a number of companies have focused on solutions that excel at one section of the set-top box or cable broadband functionality. We believe a pairing of three of these niche-oriented solutions could compete well in the market. These are:

  • Intel’s TI Puma acquisition, along with some other Atom-based assets, continues to deliver DOCSIS (broadband cable modem) to a large percentage of the market and has served a role in the first generation of gateway boxes to market from both Liberty Global and Comcast
  • Maxlinear serves RF components in the chipset supply chain, including a strong focus on the satellite market as well as high-performance chipsets alongside many manufacturers other than, and including, Broadcom’s highly integrated solutions
  • Entropic owned the MoCA market prior to others developing more integrated chipsets and continues to supply a large percentage of the standalone MoCA market. Entropic also has a good satellite in-home focus and now has full SoC capabilities, with a focus on thin clients for cable, satellite, and to a lesser extent, IPTV.

Ultimately, the STB IC (and IC market in general) market remains fiercely competitive, with spots for just three to four companies in the market. The STB IC market appears headed to that; we hope to see Entropic’s MoCA assets find a good home and a more complete vendor with lower overhead emerge.

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