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3mm tuners from Silicon Labs target digital televisions

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Digital tuner? set-top box?

Silicon Labs unveiled a family of digital set-top box (STB) tuner ICs that reduce cost, complexity and power consumption of today's STB products. The Si2144 and Si2124 digital tuner ICs come in a 3mm x 3mm QFN package, reducing board space required in assembly. The Si2144/24 tuners' integrated loop-through technology reduces system-level cost and power consumption.

Silicon Labs' Si2144/24 family offers a digital tuner solution for the global cable, terrestrial and hybrid terrestrial set-top box market, which is forecast to exceed 100 million units this year. The world's largest STB market, China is a powerhouse in STB design and manufacturing for both domestic consumption and export. Silicon Labs' Si2144/24 digital tuners are supported by China's leading terrestrial and cable STB system-on-chip (SoC) suppliers.

Based on Silicon Labs' video tuner technology and digital low-IF architecture, the Si2144/24 family supports all worldwide cable and terrestrial STB standards (ATSC/QAM, DVB-T2/C2/T/C, ISDB-T/C and DTMB).

Silicon Labs 3mm tuners

Loop-through (LT) technologyrouting the RF input signal to an RF output and making it available to video devices such as an analogue TVis a key feature required by many STB designs. The Si2144/24 ICs are small, power-efficient STB tuners integrated with LT technology, consuming less than 500mW, which minimises total power consumption and reduces power supply and thermal requirements.

In addition to integrated active LT technology (available when the STB is powered on), the Si2144/24 tuners feature "off-through" passive LT technology, which delivers LT capability when the STB is powered off or even unplugged. Passive LT minimises the standby power consumption, enabling STB makers to create "eco-friendly" products. Competing CMOS STB tuners require costly external components to implement this "off-through" feature.

Available in the compact 3mm x 3mm QFN package, the Si2144/24 ICs are the smallest STB tuners, claims by Silicon Labs. Combined with minimal BOM count, the Si2144/24 ICs enables a footprint of only 0.86cm2, offering a low BOM cost for mass production. The devices require no balun at the RF input, and they integrate all tracking filter inductors, dramatically reducing system cost and complexity.

The Si2144/24 tuners offer improvements in noise figure across the band and greater immunity to undesired signals such as LTE transmissions without external filtering. The STB tuners deliver 13dB margin to the industry's D-Book specification for superior LTE interference immunity, enabling picture clarity in TVs.

The Si2144/24 STB tuner family shares a common application programming interface (API) with Silicon Labs' entire TV and STB tuner portfolio. This shared software API allows designers to easily migrate from worldwide hybrid HDTVs to regionalised platforms and STB designs. A simple application circuit, common across all of Silicon Labs' TV and STB tuners, makes on-board installations straightforward with immediate cost savings.

Samples and production quantities of the Si2144/24 digital STB tuners are available now in a 3mm x 3mm 24-QFN package. The Si2144 digital cable and terrestrial STB tuner is priced at $0.74 in 10,000-unit quantities, and the Si2124 digital terrestrial STB is priced at $0.70 in 10,000-unit quantities (all prices in USD). To help accelerate development, Silicon Labs offers the Si2144-A-EVB and the Si2124-A-EVB evaluation boards priced at $395 (USD MSRP).

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