MaxLinear Announces Universal Silicon Tuner for Digital Cable and Terrestrial Set-Top Boxes

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
MaxLinear logo

MaxLinear’s MxL603 exceeds the higher performance specifications of DVB-T2/C2 broadcast standards; MxL603 provides superior rejection of 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, MoCA and EoC interferers

LAS VEGAS — 2012 International CES — MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, today announced the MxL603, its next-generation high-performance TV tuner for digital cable and terrestrial set-top box applications.

Based on low-power 65-nm digital CMOS process technology, the MxL603 supports all global digital cable and terrestrial television reception standards, including: DVB-T/T2, ISDB-T, ATSC, ATSC M/H, DTMB, ITU J.83 Annex A/B/C, DVB-C2, DOCSIS and EuroDOCSIS. The device is software-configurable for any of these standards, allowing manufacturers to re-use designs in multiple markets.

The MxL603 is the second device in MaxLinear’s MxL600 “super radio” family of 4 mm x 4 mm tuner products following the MxL601, a global hybrid tuner announced last year. The MxL603 features an RF loop-through port, an accurate input power detector and was specifically designed to exceed the requirements of new broadcast standards such as DVB-T2/C2.

Additionally, the MxL603 provides superior rejection of out-of-band interference from 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, MoCA and EoC signals, without the need for expensive external filters associated with legacy solutions. These expensive external filters required by competing solutions to reject interference signals add both cost and complexity to a design. With the rapid, worldwide proliferation of 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi enabled devices, the risk of interference problems and field failures are significant concerns for set-top box manufacturers that can be mitigated with the MxL603.

“The MxL603 has a smaller board footprint and lower power consumption than any other tuner in the market, features that are essential for today’s smaller and thinner set-top boxes,” said Brian Sprague, MaxLinear Vice President and General Manager. “When you also factor in the advances in sensitivity and phase noise performance – all built on top of our low-cost digital CMOS technology – this chip should be considered for every new STB design.”

Technical Highlights

The MxL603 delivers an unprecedented noise figure of 3.8 decibels (dB). The device also includes MaxLinear’s leading edge blocker immunity technology for advanced filtering of strong signals from adjacent channels. The superior phase noise performance provides assurance to set-top box manufacturers that current products will meet future tuner specifications as they continue to evolve.

Additionally, the MxL603 provides market leading power consumption of approximately 350 milliwatts (mW) in digital terrestrial mode. The low power consumption and high level of integration enable low-cost, two-layer tuner-on-board implementations as well as ultra-small tuner modules without the need for expensive heat sinks or four-layer PCBs.

The MxL603 is currently in volume production, with complete reference design kits available for cable and terrestrial applications.