Micronas Releases DTV Demodulator Device Drivers

DTV chip developer and supplier Micronas announced this week it would release device drivers for its audio/video decoders and ATSC and DVB-T demodulators into the Linux open-source development project. While this will benefit Linux users like me--I'm editing this column using AbiWord in Linux with analog TV running in the background from my HVR-950 USB tuner--it will also benefit price-conscious manufacturers using Linux-based controllers in their products.

The Micronas release noted that Linux "offers field-proven performance, reliability, and flexibility that--combined with its cost effectiveness--makes it attractive to many OEMs and system integrators."

"Micronas believes that these open source drivers are valuable assets to providing a 'unified development platform' for middleware and application development for pervasive computing devices," said Kai Scheffer, director of systems marketing at Micronas. "We believe this is a substantial contribution to the growing set of OSS building blocks for multimedia consumer devices."

Ralph Metzler, author of the Linux DVB API, said that Micronas had demonstrated their market leadership with the release and that he was pleased to observe their commitment to open platforms.

Nathan Lutchansky, lead embedded systems developer at Carson Grey Design, also announced support for Micronas' decision.

"This commitment from Micronas to support open-source software lowers the barrier for the development of disruptive consumer electronics devices," Lutchansky said. "This effort shows that Micronas is savvy enough to recognize and capitalize on the evolving models for Linux-based embedded software development in both the commercial space and the informal open-source developer community."

Micronas will be releasing an open-source version of its A/V front-end drivers, digital demodulators, PCIe controllers, H.264 decoder and MPEG-4 encoder later this month.