MaxLinear Sees DOCSIS 3.1 Taking Off in 2016

Chipmaker Sheds Light on Cable’s Rollout Plan
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Offering another glimpse at the expected speed of cable’s rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, chipmaker MaxLinear expects product volumes to climb toward the second half of next year.

Speaking Tuesday on the company’s third quarter earnings call, CEO Kishore Seendripu said MaxLinear made progress on its DOCSIS 3.1 initiatives during the quarter, and “we currently expect to ramp in volume in the second half of 2016.”

In September at the IBC show in Amsterdam, MaxLinear and partner Intel announced a chipset designed to be compatible with DOCSIS 3.1, the emerging multi-gigabit platform for HFC networks. That platform features combines an upgraded form of Intel’s Puma silicon with MaxLinear’s MxL268 Full-Spectrum Capture tuner, which can obtain channels for bonding from anywhere along the cable spectrum. The first wave of DOCSIS 3.1 modems will be hybrids that can support both DOCSIS 3 .1 and DOCSIS 3.0-based traffic.

Hitron Technologies said last month that its first D3.1-based modem product will be powered by the Intel/MaxLinear combo.

MaxLinear and Intel will be competing on the D3.1 chip front against Broadcom and STMicroelectronics.

Seendripu noted on the call that Comcast is one of the MSOs “leading the charge” on DOCSIS  3.1, while other MSOs look to offer gigabit capabilities using DOCSIS 3.0-based platforms that can bond up to 32 downstream channels.

“So we got multiple ways to get to multi-big gigabit services,” he said.

MaxLinear posted Q3 revenues of $95.2 million, up 34% sequentially and 193% year-over-year, reflecting the first financial period that reflected a full-quarter of contribution from the company’s acquisition of Entropic Communications, a maker of silicon for set-tops and Multimedia over Coax technology. MaxLinear also posted Q3 net income of $1.6 million (3 cents per diluted share), versus a net loss of $3.2 million (9 cents per share) in the year-ago quarter. 

Those results beat Wall Street analyst expectations. MaxLinear shares rocketed $2.65 (20.18%) to $15.78 each in early day trading Wednesday.

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