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DVB-T ExpressCardT 54 reference design targets notebook PCs

Posted: 12 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Micronas? MicMambaT2D-XC? DVB-T? ExpressCardT 54? Maximum Ratio Combining?

IC provider Micronas has launched the MicMambaT2D-XC, a dual-tuner DVB-T ExpressCardT 54 reference design for notebook computers.

MicMamba 2D-XC has two independent tuners on a single card, allowing notebook users to watch one program while recording another. With a full personal video recorder functionality, the notebook can now double as a portable TV or full media center, Micronas said.

The dual-tuner design offers a second advantage&emdash;the card can combine the signals from both tuners to increase signal quality while moving or in marginal-reception areas. This capability, commonly called "antenna diversity," is based on the patented "Maximum Ratio Combining" technology, licensed from Rohde and Schwarz.

"The antenna diversity feature of the Micronas DRX 3976D dramatically improves indoor and mobile reception, regardless of where the notebook is placed," says Kai Scheffer, director of Media Home at Micronas. "Dual tuners give the user the best of both worlds. On the road, he gets maximum reception quality. At home, he can dock his notebook and it becomes a full home theater system, with full PVR watch-and-record capability."

MicMamba 2D-XC is built on the ExpressCard 54 form factor, the new standard for notebook computers based on PCI Express. It uses the native PCI Express mode, which offers high bandwidth and CPU efficiency to transport data. Furthermore, MicMamba 2D-XC uses a low-differential PCI Express signalling voltage, much above the DVB-T frequency spectrum (2.5GHz), to minimize interference into the tuner.

MicMamba 2D-XC uses the DRX 3976D COFDM demodulator and substantially exceeds all requirements of the NorDig-Unified v1.0.2 Receiver Specification, which allows a single design to be compatible with all DVB-T standards worldwide.

MicMamba 2D-XC also features the nGene APB 7202A PCI Express controller from Micronas and a MicroTunerT MT2060 digital TV tuner from Microtune. The design is CENELEC-compliant, touted to be the first for a PC card TV class product. CENELEC sets the standards for electrical interference among consumer equipment.

Micronas' nGene dual-channel multimedia PCI Express controller delivers the performance and robustness needed for notebooks, all in a single slot. nGene is certified by the PCI-SIG, the industry standard body for PCI Express technology, to be PCI Express 1.0a-compliant. This certification guarantees that MicMamba 2D-XC is compatible with a wide variety of notebooks PCs offering ExpressCard 54 slots.

MicMamba 2D-XC is the latest member of a family of nGene-based reference designs supported by a common software model. The common software support across the family makes it easy to design world-standard products. MicMamba 2D-XC is a complete, production-ready solution, and is already available.

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