Conexant Turns the PC Into a Home Entertainment Center With New Broadcast Decoder Chip

Conexant Turns the PC Into a Home Entertainment Center With New Broadcast Decoder Chip

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers


Chip Enables New Class of Broadcast Features On the PC;

Certified to Work With Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP

Conexant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNXT) a worldwide leader in semiconductor system solutions for communications applications, today expanded its portfolio of products that enable the PC home entertainment center. The company’s CX23880/CX23881 peripheral component interconnect (PCI) audio/video broadcast decoder is the industry’s first 10-bit video solution and the first to support worldwide broadcast audio decoding. Conexant’s PCI platform supports the full spectrum of analog and digital PC broadcast capabilities, enabling board manufacturers to create multiple products with a variety of features and price points using a single, flexible decoder architecture.

The CX23880/CX23881 captures both analog and digital television broadcasts and supports all audio standards, making it an ideal solution for board manufacturers who are navigating the industry’s gradual transition to an all-digital broadcasting environment. With the broadcast decoder, customers can build products that enable the user to watch analog or digital TV broadcasts in standard and high-definition formats; use the PC as a digital VCR for capture, record, and playback at a later time; listen or convert AM/FM radio to MP3 files or Windows(R) Media format; and use the PC as the media hub for a home server. In addition, the decoder has achieved Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification for Windows XP.

“Our new broadcast decoder will become the core device for board developers to build a broad range of TV-centric products for PC home entertainment,” said Greg Fischer, vice president of computer products for Conexant’s Digital Infotainment Division. “With its 10-bit video path, superb video and audio decode quality and software integration, the CX23880/CX23881 has the flexibility to address all analog and digital broadcast standards used worldwide and brings them to the users’ PC for display, storage, editing and distribution within the home network.”

Technical Details

The CX23880/CX23881 is based on Conexant’s Bt878A solution for audio and video capture, which was among the first to support emerging digital TV (DTV) applications on the PC platform. The Bt878A is the industry’s most widely deployed and supported PC video capture device, providing millions of end-users with low cost, feature-rich analog PC video and TV cards.

Conexant employed this extensive experience and knowledge in successfully deploying PCI video to develop the CX23880/CX23881 third-generation PCI platform. The CX23880/CX23881 captures and decodes all variations of National Television Systems Committee (NTSC), Phase Alternate Line (PAL), and Sequential Couleur avec Memoire (SECAM) video standards with a 10-bit video decoder that achieves best-in-class Y/C separation with an adaptive comb filter, into digital red-green-blue (RGB) or YUV pixel streams for direct memory access (DMA) to the PC graphics video overlay or peripheral connected devices.

Conexant’s broadcast decoder is ready for all-digital broadcasting by providing a dedicated high-speed streaming MPEG port that is compatible with Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) and Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) digital television channel demodulators for DMA to the host and record to hard disk for time-shifting and playback, either in software or hardware, according to developer requirements. The FM radio decode feature uses radio data system (RDS) information to relay the station call sign, song title, or artist, for display on the PC monitor.

The CX23881, a pin-and software-compatible subset for the European marketplace, captures and decodes all broadcast audio standards used worldwide including, NICAM, A2, EIAJ, RDS, into 48 kHz pulse code modulation (PCM) streams for DMA to the host, connection to optical/co-axial digital audio interfaces, or as analog stereo left-and-right signals for connection to the PC sound card or external speakers. The CX23880 supports all of the above standards with the addition of BTSC-dbx(TM).

In addition, the CX23880/CX23881 facilitates analog video to Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) conversion by providing an 8- or 10-bit ITU-R 656 pixel interface to an external MPEG-2 encoder for real-time compression and a host port for DMA of the compressed data to the host or hard disk. The decoder has also been certified by Macrovision Corporation as compliant with revision 1.0 Macrovision Detect Specification.

Conexant introduced its first solutions for the PC TV market in 1996. Today, Conexant offers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor solutions for broadcast applications including satellite and digital terrestrial demodulators, MPEG decoders, video encoders and video decoders.

Price and Availability

Conexant’s CX23880 and CX23881 are packaged in a 176-pin TQFP. Both products are sampling now, with volume production scheduled this month. The CX23880 is priced at $20 in OEM quantities of 1,000. The CX23881 is priced at $17 in OEM quantities of 1,000.

Note to Editors: Additional information and photos available upon request.

About Conexant

Conexant Systems, Inc. is a worldwide leader in semiconductor system solutions for communications applications. Conexant leverages its expertise in mixed-signal processing to deliver integrated systems and semiconductor products through two separate businesses: Conexant and Mindspeed Technologies.

Conexant’s personal networking business is focused on wireless communications, digital infotainment and personal computing products that are used in mobile communications and the broadband digital home. Mindspeed Technologies designs, develops and sells a complete portfolio of semiconductor networking solutions that facilitate the aggregation, transmission and switching of data, video and voice from the edge of the Internet to linked metropolitan area networks and long-haul networks.

Conexant, headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., delivered revenues of $1.1 billion for fiscal 2001, and has approximately 6,500 employees worldwide. The company is a member of the S&P 500 and NASDAQ-100 indices. To learn more, visit us at or

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains statements relating to future results of Conexant (including certain projections and business trends) that are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: maintaining a consistent and reliable source of energy; global economic and market conditions, such as the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry and the markets addressed by the company’s and its customers’ products; demand for and market acceptance of new and existing products; successful development of new products; the timing of new product introductions; the availability and extent of utilization of manufacturing capacity; pricing pressures and other competitive factors; changes in product mix; fluctuations in manufacturing yields; product obsolescence; the ability to develop and implement new technologies and to obtain protection for the related intellectual property; the successful planned disposition of certain assets; the successful separation of the Company’s Internet infrastructure and personal networking businesses; the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; labor relations of the company, its customers and suppliers; and the uncertainties of litigation, as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the security and safety risks of our employees and of Company facilities and those risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Conexant and Mindspeed are trademarks of Conexant Systems, Inc. Other brands and names contained in this release are the property of their respective owners.

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