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Zenverge to bring MoCA on board

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 1:18pm
Brian Santo

Startup Zenverge is in the process of integrating its transcoder with Entropic’s MoCA connectivity circuitry, Zenverge told CED.

Entropic is an investor in Zenverge, as are Motorola (see Motorola invests in Zenverge) and Verizon, and several traditional venture capital firms, including DCM and Norwest Ventures.  

Zenverge CTO and co-founder Tony Masterson explained that 100 percent of the gateways that Zenverge’s transcode chip has been designed into also use MoCA. Because of that, it’s an easy call to bring MoCA circuitry on board its own chips.

That chip, bringing MoCA on board, will be available later this year, though no specific date has been set for availability, according to a company spokesman.

Zenverge chipZenverge has been tallying one success after another with its transcoder, the ZN200, which has the singular ability to simultaneously transcode up to four HD streams (or 16 SD streams). The technology is being used by TiVo for its TiVo stream product, and Arris recently announced it would use Zenverge’s transcoder in its MG2402 Video Gateway based on Comcast’s RDK.

When developing its transcoding technology, the company deliberately chose a path that would minimize memory requirements – significant because memory can be some of the more expensive circuit elements to use.

The result is that the ZN200 uses only two DDR memory units, where most competing solutions use four or sometimes eight. Masterson explained that competing solutions typically decompress incoming video and store it, in its entirety, in memory. Zenverge does not decompress the video, and does not need to store each entire asset, streamlining the process and diminishing the requirement for memory.

The chip also does all processing in a single pipeline. If the system is being asked to transcode a single stream, it can do so four times faster than it can do four streams – faster than real-time. The significance, Masterson explained, is that if the viewer is downloading content to a mobile device, it can do so relatively quickly.

While the ZN200’s feature function might be transcoding, it also provides adaptive bit-rate control, handles digital rights management (DRM – the facility that paves the legal path for downloading to mobile IP devices), and also manages the storage efficiency of DVRs.

On that last point, the company claims it can allow anywhere from 5X to 15X more content on a DVR.

As mentioned, Comcast, Arris and TiVo are customers. Several more equipment vendors are set to announce at the Cable Show that they are using Zenverge’s transcoder, according to Masterson. He declined to identify those companies.

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