Microtune today introduced the MicroTuner MT2121, the industry's first 1-GigaHertz (GHz) silicon tuner that enables cable set-top boxes and residential home gateways to support bandwidth-intensive video and home networking services.
The MT2121 is optimized to receive and tune radio frequencies in the 50-MHz to 1-GHz range of the cable spectrum. It is ideally designed for video-on-demand (VOD), subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and HDTV services, as well as in-home media distribution. In these applications, superior linearity, image rejection and frequency response are required for excellent video and multimedia performance. The MT2121 provides future-proof radio frequency (RF) core technology for cable equipment manufacturers, permitting them to deliver these services to consumers in lower-cost, smaller, full-featured set-top boxes.
The MT2121 can be deployed in single or multi-tuner cable set-top box configurations, residential gateways or media entertainment servers. It can also be implemented in digital cable-ready TV sets that are compliant with the new 'Plug and Play' ruling of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
"Cable operators are under increasing pressure to deliver compelling services that yield additional revenues, reduce churn and provide a competitive bulwark against encroaching DBS rivals," said Jason Blackwell, Director, Operations and End Markets, Semico Research Corporation. "With 1-GigaHertz systems, operators can gain up to 140 MHz of additional spectrum to deliver complex, bandwidth-substantial services for differentiation in the market. Microtune's new 1-GHz tuner is a key electronics component bridging the gap between 860-MHz to 1-GHz infrastructures. It enables a cost-effective, evolutionary migration to a broad variety of intermingled multimedia, from telephony and video-on-demand to home networking of video, music and photos."
"As cable networks migrate to increasingly higher bandwidth capacity, the MT2121 tuner allows the set-top box to scale with the systems' service and performance requirements," said James Fontaine, CEO and President of Microtune. "The MT2121 is the industry's first and only silicon tuner designed to specifically address the needs of multiple-tuner set-top box platforms in 1-GHz environments. It reinforces our RF pedigree in bringing new and advanced tuner technology to our customers and demonstrates our renewed commitment to next-generation digital TV markets."
The MicroTuner MT2121 is a fully integrated single-chip tuner specifically designed to streamline implementation of set-top boxes that comply with CableLabs OpenCable requirements. It features integrated filter components and input controls that allow for simplified and cost-efficient system design, compact architectures and reduced RF circuit footprint.
The MT2121 tuner also integrates a portion of a pre-selection filter that improves performance in networks with severe differences in signal strength across the input frequency band. Additionally, it includes an on-chip amplifier, optimized for the out-of-band Forward Data Channel (FDC), that reduces the overall implementation cost and improves the system performance versus more traditional discrete designs.
The overall RF footprint used by the MT2121 is 50% less than comparable module-level solutions. With the robust reliability and performance of silicon-based (silicon germanium) processes and a solid-state architecture, it integrates higher levels of functionality into a tiny chip, while delivering lower RF system costs.
The MicroTuner MT2121 is the newest member of Microtune's MT2100 tuner family, a class of devices targeted to the U.S. cable set top market and engineered to offer the highest performance of any silicon tuner available today. Fabricated in silicon germanium, the devices are complete dual-conversion analog/digital tuners that include all active RF components, including a low noise amplifier (LNA) and intermediate frequency (IF) amplifier on chip. They pack a high level of performance and integration into a miniature 1/4"-square package, while dissipating only 1 1/2 watts of power.
Microtune is a silicon and subsystems company that designs and markets radio frequency (RF)-based solutions for the worldwide broadband communications and transportation electronics markets.