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TV tuners shrink BOM

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TV tuners? TV standards? TV market?

Silicon Laboratories Inc. has unveiled the Si21x8 family of TV tuners that support all worldwide TV standards. Claiming best-in-class RF performance and low BOM, the family includes five TV tuner devices optimized for hybrid analog/digital iDTVs, analog-only or digital-only TVs, portable TVs, DVD and Blu-ray recorders, and terrestrial and cable STBs.

According to the company, the tuners are being designed into nearly all Tier 1 TV brands. They say that RF enhancements make the tuners tolerant to WiFi and LTE interference without the need for external filtering components. Also, a reduced noise floor of the tuner IF output provides video SNR performance for analog TV reception. Together, these improvements result in a clearer, less grainy TV picture and reception of more channels versus competing solutions.

High-quality analog TV support continues to be an important feature for the TV tuner market. Although a few countries have successfully switched to digital-only broadcasts, more than 95 percent of today's TVs must continue to support analog broadcast reception. In addition, analog-only TVs prevalent in China, India and Southeast Asia represent about 20 percent of the global TV market. For these regions, analog TV tuners often require a high tolerance to non-standard analog TV signal conditions. Based on three previous generations of worldwide field testing and broad adoption by Tier 1 TV makers, the Si21x8 family's RF performance enables robust analog TV reception, even in the presence of non-standard signal conditions.

Small BOM
The Si21x8 family of tuners need only a few inexpensive passive external components. They require no balun on the RF input, which helps reduce system cost and complexity. A new integrated power-on reset monitor, and the ability to operate with a single 3.3 V power supply, further reduce system cost. In addition, enhanced on-chip ESD protection saves cost for high-performance TV modules that demand higher ESD immunity. Like previous generations of Silicon Labs' TV tuners, the Si21x8 family requires no external wirewound inductors, loop filter capacitors, tracking filter inductors or crystal load capacitors.

The Si21x8 family consumes less than 500mW of power, enabling TV and STB makers to meet Energy Star and other energy efficiency standards. These standards are continually evolving and becoming a more critical factor in the component selection decision. Lower power consumption reduces heat dissipation and power supply requirements, which is especially useful for multituner TV and STB designs.

As with all TV tuner products from Silicon Labs, the Si21x8 family supports all worldwide TV broadcast standards, including NTSC and PAL/SECAM for analog TV, and DVB-T2/C2/T/C, ISDB-T/C, ATSC/QAM and DTMB for digital TV. For unparalleled flexibility in matching TV tuners with various system architectures, all products within the Si21x8 TV tuner family are pin-to-pin compatible and share a single software API. This allows a single module or PCB design to address multiple TV and STB applications for both digital and analog TV.

Samples and production quantities of the Si2178/58/48/38/28 TV tuners are available now. The Si2178 hybrid TV tuner with analog demodulator is priced at $1.40 in 10,000-unit quantities. The Si2178-A-EVB, Si2158-A-EVB and Si2148-A-EVB evaluation kits, each priced at $495, provide comprehensive platforms for evaluating Silicon Labs' TV tuners for TV and STB applications.

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