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Pace picks Equator silicon for gateways

Sun, 09/16/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Pace Micro Technology plc has selected Equator Technologies Inc.'s "MAP-CA" chip for the set-top maker's forthcoming line of home gateways.

Pace added that it would use the programmable silicon to foster advanced multimedia functions such as video streaming, video-on-demand, electronic program guides and personal video recording. Further, Equator will also supply Pace with a new version of its "iMMediaTools" software development kit, which is designed to shorten the gateway's design cycle.

Olivier Schiffmann, Equator's director of marketing, said the deal involves silicon for Pace's IP-based boxes, which are being outfitted for both cable- and DSL-based networks. He declined to divulge the financial terms of the deal, but said Pace has ordered the MAP-CA in "high volume."

Equator's MAP-CA processes data at 30 billion operations per second and takes a programmable software approach to update its silicon through software downloads as new MPEG standards and other codecs emerge.

Equator unveiled the MAP-CA line in March of this year, offering chips that operate at four speeds ranging from 256 megahertz to 297 MHz.

Equator Senior Manager of Technical Marketing Chris Basoglu said Pace will initially use the 283 MHz version of the MAP-CA. Depending on the processor's firepower and the volume of chips ordered, the MAP-CA is priced at $40 to $100 apiece.

A deal with a large set-top vendor such as Pace will help Equator remain competitive with a spate of well-heeled rivals such as Broadcom Corp., Conexant Systems Inc., Philips Semiconductors and LSI Logic Corp., which acquired C-Cube Microsystems Inc. earlier this year. In previous deals, Acer, Samsung and Xerox have also agreed to use Equator's MAP-CA silicon.

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