Intel deal gives MaxLinear a big boost

MaxLinear revenues soared to a record $156.6 million in Q3 2020 as the chipmaker benefited from partial period contributions from its recent acquisitions of Intel's broadband and Wi-Fi assets and a 5G-focused vendor called NanoSemi Corp.

The Intel deal, which includes silicon for DOCSIS-based modems and gateways, had a huge impact in the quarter, accounting for $82.3 million of revenues – more than half of MaxLinear's total take in the period.

The acquisition of the Intel assets also puts MaxLinear squarely in the game for Wi-Fi chips and emerging Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E products.

'Game-changer' for Maxlinear's 5G biz

MaxLinear's deal for NanoSemi, announced in September, adds technology designed to boost throughputs for 5G and Wi-Fi basestations and smartphones. Boston-based NanoSemi was spun out of MIT in 2014.

MaxLinear expects NanoSemi's licensing business to help it expand into 5G baseband, test equipment and other wireless application areas. MaxLinear is also looking to integrate NanoSemi's technology into its RF transceiver products for both open RAN and proprietary 5G platforms.

"We expect this acquisition [of NanoSemi] will prove to be a game-changer for our 5G business," MaxLinear CEO Kishore Seendripu said on last week's earnings call.

MaxLinear expects to see some 5G revenues trickle in during the rest of 2020 and ramp up more meaningfully in 2021, according to the company's CFO and chief corporate strategy officer, Steve Litchfield.

'Full platform' DOCSIS win

On the DOCSIS end, MaxLinear is seeing shipments ramp up for a "flagship" DOCSIS 3.1 North America cable operator platform. Seendripu did not identify the operator, but said the win involves the operator's "full platform," including MaxLinear's front end, Wi-Fi silicon, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, newly acquired DOCSIS silicon from the Intel deal, as well as Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) technology.

MaxLinear, which also makes silicon for G.hn products, did not provide an update on product development for DOCSIS 4.0. However, the chipmaker told Light Reading in August that the company is committed to building chipsets for a new platform that will enable operators to deliver multi-gigabit speeds on their widely deployed hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks.

"We expect our market share and revenues to grow as deployments re-surge due to the work-from-home dynamic and net overall MSO subscriber growth," Seendripu said.

MaxLinear expects Q4 2020 revenues in the range of $185 million to $195 million.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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