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Tuner IC enables multiple TV platforms in portables

Posted: 23 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microtune? MicroTuner? MT2130? MT2131? TV tuner?

Microtune's MT2130 TV tuner IC

Microtune Inc. has announced a tuner chip that promises quality digital TV in PC notebooks, portable TVs, tuner sticks, portable DVD players and other small devices that demand both high performance and lower power. Called the MicroTuner MT2130, this device allows users to watch analog and digital TV across cable or off-air broadcasts, to time-shift programs and to capture video for multimedia applications.

The new tuner is based on the architecture of Microtune's high-performance three-in-one chipthe MT2131 analog/digital/cable tunersaid to be the only silicon TV tuner engineered to exceed the U.S. digital receiver performance parameters of the ATSC standard. The MT2130 tuner offers the high integration, broad-based functionality and reduced BOM advantages of MT2131, but with 20 percent lower power.

Superior reception
"Our MT2130 leverages the superior engineering, excellent performance and reliability that have come to characterize Microtune tuners, and it adapts our market-proven RF technology for new classes of power-sensitive digital TV devices," said James Fontaine, Microtune's president and CEO. "By deploying the MT2130 chip, our customers can differentiate their portable products by offering superior TV reception across the analog and digital broadcasts that exist today."

Microtune said it designed the MT2130 to meet the specific RF technical requirements of power-sensitive, space-constrained products, based on the company's experience with mobile and PC-TV tuner applications. First, the MT2130 is engineered to receive weak signals and to compensate for the small, built-in antennas typical of portable products. Like its MT2131 predecessor, the MT2130 exceeds the sensitivity-measurement tests published by the FCC. For the consumer, the chip's sensitivity translates directly into high picture quality.

Second, the MT2130 deploys Microtune's ClearTune filtering technology to improve channel reception. Television bands worldwide are becoming increasingly congested with the simulcasting of legacy analog transmissions and digital channels. Competing or undesired adjacent channels are frequently encountered, causing disruption to both analog and digital signals. Microtune's patent-pending ClearTune technology, built into the MT2130, provides significant immunity to these interfering signals. From a consumer perspective, the MT2130 tuner is engineered to minimize noise and distortion for consistent, stable picture quality.

Multiple platforms
The MT2130 tuner packs the functionality of three tunersanalog, digital terrestrial, cableinto a miniature device, eliminating numerous external components for a very cost-effective design. The chip supports multiple TV transmission standards: ATSC, QAM, DVB-T, ISDB-T, DMB-T, NTSC, PAL and SECAM. As a result, it allows manufacturers to deploy the same tuner on multiple platforms, gaining economies of scale, while providing a single solution that cost-effectively bridges the multiple analog and digital TV standards that co-exist.

At 0.25-inch in size, the MT2130 chip fits into small designs, such as dongle or flash-stick packages and can be configured in multituner architectures. These multituner architectures enable diversity of applications and permit users to enable "watch and record" two or more channels simultaneously.

The MT2130 tuner is sampling today to select customers and is priced at less than $3 in volume quantities. To simplify evaluation and design for qualified customers, Microtune offers evaluation boards.

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