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Philips, Broadcom team up on tuner ICs for cable modems

Posted: 20 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:philips semiconductors? broadcom? tuner ic? cable modem?

Philips Semiconductors disclosed an agreement with Broadcom under which the Dutch company will exclusively provide Broadcom with a new tuner IC specifically designed for existing cable modem applications.

Under terms of the deal, Philips will supply to Broadcom a low intermediate filter (IF) direct-conversion silicon tuner IC called BCM3419. As tuner cans are being gradually replaced by silicon tuners and many companies are racing to develop silicon tuners with different technologies, Philips is "the first to have a single conversion silicon tuner solution ready for production," claimed Giel Rutten, senior vice president of TV systems at Philips Semiconductor.

"This cooperation starting with the BCM3419 allows Broadcom to profit by Philips' time-to-market advantage for the cable modem appliances market," Rutten said.

Philips hopes to maintain its cooperation with Broadcom by providing Broadcom with samples of future products, said Rutten. Broadcom is a leading player in cable modem IC market.

Compared to dual- and single-conversion tuners used in existing cable modems, the single-conversion silicon tuner reduces the design complexity and cost of implementing tuner designs in cable modems. It does so by eliminating costly SAW filters required with current tuners. "The fully optimized RF solution which, by avoiding the standard dual conversion approach, saves a lot of components around the IC and consequently minimizes the application bill of materials," Rutten said.

Power and cost savings enabled by direct-conversion tuner technology also offer design benefits, opening the door to several emerging cable modem applications such as VoIP over cable and outdoor wireless access points, according to Philips.

Asked whether Philips is exiting the cable modem business, Rutten said, "Broadcom is one of the industry leaders and cable modem appliances market, while Philips is the world leader in RF technologies for TV functions." He said, "This contract is strengthening both companies' positions by leveraging their own leadership positions on their respective markets."

-Junko Yoshida

EE Times

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