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Universal TV chip puts Mirics in pole position for Netbook TV

Tiny UK start up Mirics has managed to get every form of free to air broadcast TV onto a single chip, along with the DVB-C formats for cable

By PETER WHITE

Published: 3 March, 2011

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Tiny UK start up Mirics has managed to get every form of free to air broadcast TV onto a single chip, along with the DVB-C formats for cable. The company is selling them with the demodulation software running on the host, and says that tablets, netbooks and laptops can all power these demodulations and show local TV. Mirics’ new chipset is already sampling to selected partners.

This is the company’s second -generation chipset, which it says lowers cost, power and size with better function. When the company first came out with this approach – radio on a dongle, and demodulation on the host cpu – it took up all the spare capacity of the PC to drive the process. Last year re-writes of the software had brought this down to 7% of the total CPU time, a low enough figure to transfer the process to tablets and netbooks.

Now the chip part of the solution and further software re-writes look like they’ve brought down the cpu budget further.

Given that the original FlexTV chip was around $5 in volumes and the new FlexiTV MSi3113 is supposed to be cheaper, this should be an easy sell to put on laptop motherboards and create a default to add TV to a portable computer design.

The MSi3113 chipset consists of the MSi003 multi-standard RF tuner chip and the MSi2501 USB bridge chip. Each is supplied in a compact 5x5 mm package which makes the small footprint suited to integration on the main board of a tablet PC or motherboard of a notebook PC.

In addition to support for the full range of worldwide terrestrial and cable TV standards, MSi3113 is also suitable for all mainstream digital radio standards, including DAB, DAB+, DMB and HD Radio, and can deliver FM signals. It incorporates an infrared remote control capability.

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