Addressing the critical radio frequency (RF) power and pricing issues central to the rollout of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) cable phone services, Microtune today introduced a single-chip tuner that cuts RF costs by 25%, space by 25% and power by 40% compared to its previous generations. When integrated into subscriber premise equipment, the new MicroTuner MT2060 enables cable operators to deliver primary-line telephony that meets carrier-class levels of quality, service and reliability.
The MT2060 delivers the price/performance, power efficiency and reliability required in DOCSIS-based telephony modems and PacketCable-based embedded multimedia terminal adapters (E-MTAs). It can also be integrated into performance-hungry consumer devices -- multi-tuner digital set-top boxes, DVB-T and DVB-C set-top boxes, PC/TVs and flat-panel LCD TVs.
Fabricated in silicon germanium for very high performance, the MT2060 is a complete broadband tuner with integrated intermediate frequency (IF) filter, low-noise amplifier and input controls. It is packaged into a miniature, multi-functional 1/4-inch square chip that operates with a 3.3-volt supply. The tuner consumes only one watt of power and features a software-selectable operating mode that dissipates a mere 800 milliWatts, the lowest power for a high-performance silicon tuner in the industry.
"Cable telephony forms an integral part of cable operators' triple play of video, voice, and data services, and it is now poised to reach the majority of U.S. cable TV subscribers," explained Mike Paxton, senior analyst with technology research firm In-Stat/MDR. "Power is a critical issue for cable modems and other consumer access products that utilize VoIP for primary-line telephony service. A tuner that consumes only one watt of power will be an important step forward for RF technology in VoIP cable products."
The MT2060 is engineered to deliver low power without sacrificing performance. Based on Microtune's patented dual-conversion tuner architecture, it delivers low phase noise, low noise figure and high linearity. It offers immunity to interference in cable networks with severe differences in signal strength across the input frequency band, ensuring quality signals across the entire system. These technical parameters are required to ensure not only minimum distortion in voice applications, but also reliability in high-speed Internet connections and clear, crisp pictures in video applications.
With its high levels of integration, the MT2060 allows for simplified and cost-efficient system design, compact architectures and reduced RF circuit footprint and bill of materials (BOM) costs. As an implementation and time-to-market advantage, the MT2060 interfaces directly to all standard demodulator chips, eliminating the need for customized products.
The MT2060 tuner is sampling now and is priced at $5.00 in quantities of 10,000. Initial production is planned for Q3, 2004. To simplify evaluation and design, Microtune also offers a MT2060 Evaluation Board and Cable/Telephony Modem Reference Design.
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.