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Mobile TV chip integrates RF, DSP

Posted: 18 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile TV? video post-processing? RF? DSP demodulation? Digital Video Broadcast?

Telegent Systems Inc. has unveiled a single-chip mobile-TV architecture that integrates RF, DSP demodulation and video post-processing. The company plans multiple spins of its SureTrak design to meet various standards for terrestrial and handheld-based mobile video networks.

Among the standards supported will be Digital Video Broadcast flavors DVB-H chipset" target=_blank>DVB-H and DVB-T, Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T-DMB) and China's homegrown DMB-T/H. Samuel Sheng, co-founder and chief technology officer at Telegent, said that given the large subsidiary operation the startup maintains in China, it's no surprise the company is interested in emerging China standards, as well as existing European mobile broadcast specs.

The only approach off Telegent's agenda, Sheng said, is the Qualcomm-backed Media-FLO, since "Qualcomm's presence alone makes it difficult for a chip company to make a difference in that space."

When the company was founded in 2004, the developers realized that mobile TV still faced user misgivings regarding the perceived quality and reliability of the received TV signal. The company's founders, with experience at such companies as STMicroelectronics, Marvell, Philips, Broadcom and Analog Devices, decided early on that a receiver must integrate RF and DSP on a single die.

Given the multiplicity of standards, Telegent opted to focus first on China's markets and on OEMs working on traditional cellphones. Over time, markets in Europe and North America will be added, as will non-phone handsets for gaming and media.

The core TLG11xx design comprises an RF tuner, an ADC and synthesizer, a single-function DSP block for demodulation and channel decode, an A/V processor and a scalar processor. Baseband modem functions for 2G or 3G cellular services are kept off-chip.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the SureTrak algorithms, Telegent demonstrated handheld reception on a Shanghai bullet train that achieves speeds exceeding 430kph. Multipath fading resistance kept picture degradation to a minimum, while embedded support for Doppler compensation retained the signal at the high speeds of the bullet train, according to Telegent. The chip also features dynamic picture buffering and adaptive audio filtering.

Sensitivity improvements can be as high as 8dB. Because of the power-efficient architecture, antenna diversity is not necessary, nor is an external low-noise amp.

Chips integrate RF and DSP demodulation and A/V processing. SureTrak software operates across all domains.

The baseline single-chip receiver, TLG1100, is in production. The chip's tuning range is 50-800MHz. NTSC and PAL coding is supported. A more advanced hybrid chip, the TLG1130, integrates free-to-air NTSC and PAL services and pay DVB-H services. It includes a block supporting Secure Digital I/O and SPI. Sheng said both chips also integrate an FM radio as a "bonus value-add."

For IPTV, packet processing can be supported through software drivers in a 3G or 4G cellular environment. If wireless operators want to add WiMAX for IPTV in the future, Telegent will consider options for achieving WiMAX integration either on its own or with partners.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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