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Microtune cuts power for VoIP designs

Posted: 29 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microtune? voip? mt2060? silicon tuner?

Microtune Inc. said it will help cable modem designers reduce overall power consumption in voice-over-Internet Protocol designs with the release of a silicon tuner that consumes <1W.

The move to providing VoIP connectivity over cable modems poses a new power-management dilemma for the design community. While end users are willing to tolerate outages in their mobile-telephony devices, they scoff at the notion of a land line phone going down. This perception is forcing cable operators to provide backup mechanisms that allow phone service to continue even if a power outage occurs.

"The goal is to support eight hours of operation in the case of a power outage," said Greg Zancewicz, director of product marketing at Microtune.

To provide backup, many cable equipment vendors are placing battery mechanisms on their modem designs to ensure system up-time. But to ensure these backup systems can hit the 8h mark and beyond, designers are pushing silicon vendors for components with lower power-dissipation figures.

Microtune's MT2060 silicon tuner delivers a power consumption figure of 800mW, vs. 1.3- to 1.5W in its earlier designs, Zancewicz said. Integration and a move to a silicon germanium process enabled the company to take this number to below 1W, he added.

On the integration front, Microtune has moved from a differential input to a single-ended input, thus eliminating the need for an input balun. Additionally, the company has pulled in the first intermediate-frequency (IF) filter, thus reducing board space and power consumption. This integration, Zancewicz said, resulted in a 25 percent space reduction over past tuner designs.

The MT2060 is developed around a dual conversion architecture. Signals fed into the chip at 800MHz are immediately converted to 1.2GHz, where adjacent-channel noise can be removed. The signals are then converted down to a lower IF-usually in the 30- to 50MHz range - where additional noise is removed. Signals are then handed off through the output of a chip through a common interface to a digital demodulator.

Delivered in a 0.25-inch-square package, the MT2060 is sampling now, with initial production slated for the third quarter. The tuner is priced at $5 in 10,0000-unit quantities.

- Robert Keenan

EE Times

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