MaxLinear digital channel stacking satellite IC deployed in GT-SAT 'DLNB'

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 
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MxL862 used in GT-SAT’s new digital LNB helps European and Latin American satellite operators migrate to digital channel stacking

CARLSBAD, Calif. — MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE:MXL), a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, today announced that GT-SAT International of Luxembourg has deployed MaxLinear’s Full-Spectrum Capture™ (FSC™) MxL862 in a new digital satellite low-noise block (DLNB) downconverter.

Satellite operators in Europe and Latin America are moving to DLNBs so that they can provide multi-channel distribution to the home via a single-cable connection from the LNB to the set-top box. GT-SAT chose the MxL862 channel stacking system on chip (SoC) because it offers significantly lower power draw and an unprecedented level of integration, which simplified GT-SAT’s DLNB design.

The DLNB is based on GT-SAT’s own dHello advanced channel stacking switch protocol. dHello uses DiSEqC protocol commands and is backward compatible to any device supporting a minimum of DiSEqC 1.x. It is comprised of four commands that provide the control mechanisms for all channel-stacking functions. The protocol supports both satellite and terrestrial frequency ranges and supports C-, Ku- and Ka-band satellites and both linear as well as circular polarization. The converted frequency is sent in a format that supports a wide range of LNBs, including wide-band and universal architectures, as well as multiswitches.

The MxL862 is designed to exceed strict RF performance from leading direct broadcast satellite operators. Having this additional performance helped GT-SAT significantly reduce the design complexity and enter the market quickly.

MaxLinear’s MxL862 configurability was also important in the DLNB design process. The channel stacking engine is fully configurable through an application programming interface (API). It can be configured to support legacy static line up of 30 channels or more, while enabling seamless migration to dynamic channel stacking as operators deploy more advanced services.

“DLNBs are essential to a satellite operator’s multi-channel strategy. With its Full-Spectrum Capture technology and integrated functionality, the MxL862 will give GT-SAT a great time-to-market advantage,” said Brian Sprague, MaxLinear Vice President and General Manager. “GT-SAT is breaking new ground with its digital channel stacking LNB product and it has been exciting to work with them to bring this product to market.”

“These LNB developments are consistent with our vision of being the best RF provider for leading satellite operators in Europe and Latin America,” said Guil Mediouni, CEO of GT-SAT Int. “Working with MaxLinear has meant we’ve been able to develop LNBs with the performance, power and features that operators in these markets require.”

Technical Details

The MxL862 has two FSC wideband RF inputs with a single L-band IF output. The MxL862 supports a total RF capture bandwidth of 4.1 GHz.

The MxL862 supports FSK, DiSEqC / EN50607 and GT-SAT’s dHello operation on the IF ports. The device comes with a software environment that includes a real-time operating system running on an embedded 32-bit CPU with a complete set of APIs to control the channel stacking engine and the chip interfaces.

The ultra small part is packaged in a 10mm x 10mm QFN. The highly integrated device also features all major supporting analog functions, such as broadband input and output filters, RF gain blocks, PLLs and automatic gain control (AGC) functionality. Due to the high levels of system integration, the bill of material (BOM) in end applications is reduced to a minimal number of low-cost, passive components, which enables ultra-compact, low-cost system solutions when compared to existing analog implementations.

It is part of the MxL86x product family, which includes the MxL868 and MxL865.