MaxLinear Stirs Up First MoCA 2.5-Based Chips

MaxLinear has unveiled the first chipset to support MoCA 2.5, a new home networking spec for in-home coax networks that supports speeds up to 2.5 Gbps and play nicely alongside cable’s emerging multi-gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 platform.

MaxLinear timed the introduction of its MoCA 2.5 silicon, the MxL3710, with this week’s CableLabs Summer Conference in Keystone, Colo.

It said the MxL3710 is pin-compatible to the chipmaker’s new MoCA 2.0 bonded IC, the MxL3705, which delivers up to 1.2 Gbps of MAC throughput. Pin compatibility allows OEMs to upgrade their existing MxL3705 designs for 2.5 Gbps applications, the company said.

MaxLinear noted that the MxL3710 features an “enhanced mode” that will deliver up to 3.0 Gbps of throughput when communicating with other MxL3710 nodes in the same network.

MoCA 2.5, which will ultimately be integrated in home gateways and other CPE, will interoperate with MoCA 1.1 and 2.0, which supports data rates of up to 1 Gbps. MoCA tech is used today mostly for whole-home DVRs and in bridge devices that help to beef up home networks. 

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) introduced the 2.5 spec in April, anticipating then that a certification test plan would be available in a year or less. MoCA is also said to be working on MoCA 3.0, a next-gen platform that will aim to deliver capacities of up to 10 Gbps within the next three to five years.

“Given the recent ratification of the MoCA 2.5 standard, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance is delighted to see MaxLinear set the pace with its MoCA 2.5 offering, Charlie Cerino, president of MoCA, said in a statement.

MaxLinear, which got into the MoCA game via its 2015 acquisition of Entropic, competes in that sector with Broadcom.

“With regard to MoCA 2.5, I don't think there's going to any player who is going to have MoCA 2.5 anytime soon,” MaxLinear CEO Kishore Seendripu said Monday on the company’s earnings call.

MaxLinear, he added, is also making progress with DOCSIS 3.1 in partnership with Intel.

“We expect initial product rollouts [of D3.1 product] in the fourth quarter of 2016 and into the first half of 2017,” he said, but didn’t expect early shipments of D3.1 products to impact the company’s current guidance.

MaxLinear posted Q2 revenues of $101.7 million, up 44% year-on-year, and net income of $22.6 million, or 33 cents per diluted share. It expects Q3 revenue of between $94 million and $98 million.