Skip to main content

Microtune purchases Auvitek

Microtune announced July 10 that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Auvitek International for approximately $9 million in cash and a potential earn-out if certain performance targets are met. The acquisition is expected to close by month’s end.

“The acquisition of Auvitek’s team and technology will not only enable us to target a larger opportunity in the worldwide integrated digital TV market, but also will allow us to better serve customers with more complete solutions,” said James A. Fontaine, president and CEO of Microtune. “It enriches our portfolio of products, it substantially builds our intellectual property and employee talent base, and it adds resources, alliances and relationships that will help accelerate penetration into the China digital TV market.”

“Auvitek has been committed to engineering best-in-class demodulation and channel decoding technology, and we are excited about becoming a part of Microtune,” said Auvitek president and CEO, Pete Birch. “The strong synergies in our technologies, markets, and customers, coupled with Microtune’s global scale and financial strength, will help accelerate our growth and design wins.”

After the acquisition, Birch will become vice president and general manager of the newly formed Microtune Digital Television Business, reporting to Barry F. Koch, executive vice president.

Microtune manufacturers a variety of silicon chip TV tuners, including dual conversion tuners and a tuner for automotive applications. Auvitek manufacturers TV demodulator chips. Its AU852x series demodulators feature a very wide range adaptive-equalizer. As I've reported in my evaluation of ATSC USB stick tuners, the Auvitek demodulators performed well in the Hauppauge HVR-950Q, the FusionHDTV7 USB, and the Artec T19ARD. The Artec T19ARD is the only one of the three to use a Microtune tuner. The rest use an Xceive XC-5000.

I haven't seen any noticeable improvement in DTV receiver performance in the several months. I'll be watching to see if Microtune and Auvitek announce new tuners and demodulator chips with even better specifications and performance.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.