Microtune unveils integrated receiver platform, reduces workforce

LONDON — Microtune has unveiled an ultra-small, low-cost technology platform dubbed MicroCeive that the company says will be the foundation for a new breed of tightly integrated receiver products for the digital TV and cable TV markets.

The company says the platform is a breakthrough radio frequency analog and digital signal processing system in a single chip and that the RF-to-baseband technology “offers the building-block architecture for a new family of fully integrated front-end receivers that will bring low cost, miniature footprints and excellent signal reception quality to manufacturers creating next-generation digital televisions, set-top boxes, cable entertainment hubs and IP video electronics.”

Microtune adds the architecture will reduce designers' development time and production costs, while enabling customers to create consumer products for global markets that span multiple applications, product lines and international television reception standards.

The company plans to introduce in the coming weeks the first in the family of cable and digital TV chips based on its MicroCeiver system, and says it has already demonstrated its initial product to customers.

The system is said to be based round a proprietary new architecture that “fuses RF analog (tuner) and digital signal processing (demodulator or channel decoding) capabilities together in a symbiotic relationship in a dense single chip, erasing the distinctions across these functional boundaries”

The architecture deploys internal algorithms that continually optimize key functions across the receive chain to achieve the highest-quality demodulated output.

Separately, the Plano, Texas-based company said it would cut its work force by about 10 percent and reduce the base salary of top company managers by 5 percent.

At the end of last year, Microtune had 220 employees. The company said it expects the job cuts to be substantially completed before the end of 2009. It anticipates incurring restructuring charges of between $1.3 million and $1.5 million primarily for cash severance payments.

“The company is taking these actions as part of a larger cost-reduction effort in order to streamline operations and more closely align costs with revenue in an effort to achieve profitability as quickly as possible in the current challenging economic environment,” Microtune said in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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