MaxLinear Sees ‘Meaningful’ Gigabit DOCSIS 3.0 Opp

32-Channel Modems to Ramp Up Ahead of 3.1 Deployment
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Recent operator and OEM customer activity suggests that there could be a “meaningful” opportunity for 1-Gig-capable DOCSIS 3.0-based modems in the next year to 18 months, MaxLinear CEO Kishore Seendripu said Monday on the company’s second quarter earnings call.

Of recent note, Hitron introduced the CDA3-35, a 32-channel DOCSIS 3.0 modem that’s equipped with Intel’s Puma 6-MG DOCSIS processor and MaxLinear’s 32-channel MxL268 tuner. The device, which is capable of downstream bursts of up to 1.2 Gbps in North American DOCSIS systems, is being deployed by Suddenlink Communications and GCI.

Seendripu said some MSOs are looking to deliver gigabit speeds with DOCSIS 3.0, while others are more focused on the deploying DOCSIS 3.1, an emerging platform that will support multi-gigabit speeds. Comcast and Liberty Global are among the major operators that are pushing hard on DOCSIS 3.1.

Even as DOCSIS 3.1 develops, “we can fill the gap with 32-channel [DOCSIS 3.0 technology], because you can safely get to a Gigabit-plus in data bandwidth, so that’s the dynamic you’re seeing here,” Seendripu said.  “It is sort of two categories of operators -- one operator is completely committed to getting DOCSIS 3.1 as early as possible, and there is a group of operators who want to deploy the gigabit bandwidth right away.”

He believes MaxLinear will benefit from the dichotomy, because the company will supplying both DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 products. And it will have a D3.0-based gigabit solution ready to go in case the DOCSIS 3.1 era experiences any delays.

In the meantime, MaxLinear is seeing about two-thirds of its cable data product mix shift toward D3.0-based modems that can bond 24 downstream channels – enough to hit speed bursts of about 960 Mbps in North American DOCSIS networks that use 6MHz-wide channels, and up to 1.2 Gbps in EuroDOCSIS platforms that use 8MHz-wide channels.

On the financial front, MaxLinear posted a Q2 net loss of $30.6 million (58 cents per diluted share) on revenues of $70.8 million.  The results included $2.8 million in fees and expenses tied to MaxLinear’s acquisition of Entropic Communications, and $11.4 million in restricting charges related to the Entropic deal.

MaxLinear expects Q3 revenues to be in the range of $90 million to $94 million.