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Samsung aims to bring TV to the cellphone

Posted: 10 Jun 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:samsung electro-mechanics? digital media broadcast receiver module? dbm receiver module?

Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. Ltd, a $3 billion division of the South Korean consumer electronics giant, will soon sample digital media broadcast (DMB) receiver modules that will allow consumers to view terrestrial and satellite transmissions on mobile systems.

DMB, now coming online in Korea and Japan, is a multichannel broadcasting service with high-quality video. In principle, DMB will allow subscribers to watch television, listen to music, receive text messages, play videogames or cruise the Internet on their cellphone screens.

While Korea and Japan have installed digital broadcast standards and infrastructure, such service will not be offered in the United States until a digital broadcast standard is ratified, possibly in 2006, said Gyu-Hwan Choi, principal engineer in Samsung Electro-Mechanics' digital module group.

One of the company's biggest-selling product lines comprises image sensor modules like those on Samsung's own digital camera phone. Digital modules accounted for roughly 31 percent of Samsung Electro-Mechanics' 2003 revenue of $2.897 billion, according to Mike Moon, president of the division's North American operation in Irvine, Calif.

Success in the cellphone module business has encouraged Samsung to forge ahead with features and functions. The DMB modules supporting digital TV reception in cellphones will measure 8-by-7.2-by-1.4mm, consume 180mW and add perhaps $20 or $30 to the cost of a complete phone, the company said.

Variations coming In addition to modules targeted at cellphones and one designed for automotive entertainment systems, there are a number of variations now sampling and in development for introduction later this year, said Choi.

TV tuner modules for terrestrial broadcast reception (DMB-T), reflecting a somewhat different design thrust, feature a lower intermediate frequency, of 2.048MHz, from direct conversion. But because of the proximity of land-based broadcast towers, DMB-T will offer a somewhat higher dynamic range, of 105dB, than what's found on the company's satellite signal module.

For both satellite and terrestrial TV receivers, though, an ongoing development goal will be to improve the sensitivity of the receiver module while reducing its size and bringing power consumption down to 100mW from 180mW, Choi said. He said the company also hopes to increase adjacent-channel rejection to -40dB, raise input sensitivity to -100dBm and make intermediate frequency selectable between 1.024MHz and 2.048MHz.

- Stephan Ohr

EE Times

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