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Silicon Labs intros latest TV tuner line

Posted: 14 Aug 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tuners? cable TV? STB?

Silicon Labs has unleashed a series of silicon TV tuners that the company said offers the industry's highest performance, integration and lowest system cost while supporting all global terrestrial and cable TV standards. The Si21x7 family includes five products optimised for hybrid analogue/digital iDTVs, analogue-only TVs, portable TVs, DVD and Blu-ray recorders, and terrestrial and cable STBs.

The devices aims to provide best-in-class sensitivity and selectivity, reduced BOM cost and low power consumption that TV and STB makers have come to expect from Silicon Labs, while enhancing performance in several key areas, stated the company. The Si21x7 tuners improve noise figure (NF) across all bands, return loss for a given NF, channel selectivity in the presence of terrestrial blockers and in a fully loaded and/or tilted cable spectrum, and linearity over an extended RF input power range. Improvements in these key areas deliver enhanced reception of terrestrial or cable broadcasts across a broad variety of real-world field conditions.

The highly integrated Si21x7 tuners are designed to enable the lowest BOM cost of any silicon TV tuner solution in mass production. Unlike competing silicon TV tuners, the Si21x7 tuners require no external balanced-to-unbalanced transformer (balun) on the RF input, which significantly reduces system cost and complexity without performance degradation, said Silicon Labs. In addition, the TV tuners integrate all tracking filter inductors, and they eliminate the need for inductive power supply filtering, thanks to built-in high supply ripple tolerance, a key consideration for on-board designs. An integrated power-on reset monitor and optional single 3.3V power supply operation further reduce system cost. Moreover, the Si21x7 tuners exhibit enhanced electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection and performance on pins critical to TV module designs, removing the need for costly ESD diodes and reducing BOM cost for Tier 1 TV modules that require higher ESD immunity.

The ultra-low-power Si21x7 TV tuners operate at less than 500mW, helping manufacturers minimise the power consumption of their TV and STB products and achieve compliance with Energy Star and other green energy standards. Low TV tuner power consumption also helps simplify multi-tuner designs by reducing power supply and thermal requirements. They also deliver high rejection of WiFi and LTE signals without requiring external filtering components. This built-in WiFi/LTE signal immunity makes the Si21x7 tuners an ideal solution for smart/connected TVs with integrated WiFi and LTE radios, boasted the firm.

The ultra-low noise floor at the IF output for Silicon Labs' Si2157 and Si2127 TV tuners enables industry-leading video signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at the audio/video SoC's analogue demodulator output, resulting in a clearer, crisper and less grainy picture during reception of analogue broadcasts. The enhanced linearity over an extended RF input power range results in increased carrier-to-composite second order (CSO) and composite triple beat (CTB), which are the most critical specifications for cable mode reception.

As with all Silicon Labs TV tuners, the Si21x7 family supports all worldwide TV broadcast standards including NTSC, PAL and SECAM for analogue TV, and DVB-T2/C2/T/C, ISDB-T/C, ATSC/QAM and DTMB for digital TV. To ensure the utmost flexibility in matching TV tuners with various system architectures, all products within the Si21x7 family have compatible pinouts and share a single software API. This compatibility allows a single module or PCB design to address multiple TV and STB applications for both digital and analogue TV. The Si21x7 TV tuner family is also pin-to-pin and API-compatible with the Si21x8 family, enabling a smooth transition for existing customers with no hardware modifications and trivial software updates.

Samples and production quantities of the Si2177/57/47/37/27 TV tuners are available in a compact 4 x 4 mm 28-pin QFN package. Pricing for the Si21x7 hybrid TV tuner family begins at $0.85 in 10,000-unit quantities. The Si2177-A-EVB, Si2157-A-EVB, Si2147-A-EVB and Si2137-A-EVB evaluation kits, each priced at $395, provide comprehensive platforms for evaluating Silicon Labs' TV tuners for TV and STB applications.

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