Conexant Launches Gateway Silicon


Expanding on its line of cable-centric silicon, Conexant Systems Inc. has
launched a new digital set-top chip/transceiver that features high-speed
connectivity and interactive elements.

The chip, the 'CX24420,' also supports multiple broadcast demodulation for
'time-shifting' personal-video-recording functions, the company said.

The move essentially pits Conexant in a battle with a cadre of set-top
chip-makers, including Broadcom Corp., Texas Instruments Inc., C-Cube
Microsystems Inc. and Philips Semiconductors.

Conexant said its silicon will lower the bill-of-material cost for
set-top-box original-equipment manufacturers by at least $130, claiming that
this figure is 25 percent lower than typical designs.

The company added that the CX24420 interfaces with its set of MPEG-2 (Motion
Picture Expert Group) video-compression technology and silicon tuners, and it
supports home networking and voice-over-Internet protocol -- all elements of
forthcoming 'residential gateways' that will share and distribute bandwidth to
other devices in the home.

Hoping to reach as wide a customer base as possible, Conexant's new chip
supports a host of set-top and cable-modem standards, including Data Over Cable
Service Interface Specification 1.0/1.1, EuroDOCSIS 1.0, Digital Video Broadcast
and Digital Audio/Video Interoperability Council 1.2 and 1.5.

Conexant's cable-modem partners include Terayon Communication Systems Inc.
and Zoom Telephonics Inc.

The CX24420 will hit volume production in the second quarter of 2001 and
carry a price of $45 each in quantities of 100,000.