Silicon tuner slashes power for VoIP cable phones
Addressing the critical RF power and pricing issues central to the rollout of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) cable phone services, Plano, Tx.-based Microtune has introduced a single-chip silicon tuner that cuts RF costs by 25 percent, space by 25 percent and power by 40 percent 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. Fabricated in fifth-generation IBM silicon germanium (SiGe) process technology, the MT2060 is a high-density broadband tuner with integrated IF and low-noise amplifiers, IF filter, filter components and input controls. It consumes 1 W of power and features a software-selectable operating mode that dissipates a mere 800 mW, the lowest power for a high-performance silicon tuner in the industry, claims Microtune.
“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, a 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 1 W of power will be an important step forward for RF technology in VoIP cable products."
“With the MT2060, we provide a rugged, low-BOM cost RF solution that can help drive the cable adoption of VoIP digital phone services. At the same time, we have taken the first technology step in developing low-power tuners for other new classes of applications, such as handheld TVs," said James A. Fontaine, Microtune’s President and CEO.
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. To offer time-to-market advantage, the MT2060 interfaces directly to all standard demodulator chips, eliminating the need for customized products. Housed in a miniature package, the MT2060 is sampling now, with initial production slated for the third quarter. It is priced at $5 in 10,0000-piece quantities.
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