MaxLinear chosen by STMicroelectronics for DVB-T2 STB reference design

Thursday, June 20th, 2013
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Aimed at Analog TV Switch Off in Asian and European Countries

  • MaxLinear’s Low Power MxL603 Tuner Combined with ST SoC Offer Superior System Performance with Built-in DVR, Enhanced Protection From 4G/LTE Interference

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 its cooperation with STMicroelectronics (ST) [NYSE: STM] on a DVB-T2 set-top box (STB) design for the emerging free-to-air and hybrid terrestrial STB markets in Europe and Southeast Asia.

The STB design features the MaxLinear MxL603 high-performance tuner and ST’s STiH253 system-on-chip (SoC) device with integrated DVB-T2 demodulator. This is the second recently announced STB design from the two companies, who just announced a digital STB based on the MxL683 and STiH207 for Latin American markets.

DVB-T2 is emerging as a popular technology in Southeast Asian and Eastern European countries that are switching off analog television services to free up radio spectrum for 4G/LTE wireless data services. DVB-T2 is also being integrated in many pay TV hybrid STBs in those regions to capture the increasing number of free-to-air HD channels.

The ST-MaxLinear STB design will provide a powerful, low power and cost-optimized solution for these markets. With the MxL603’s industry leading RF performance, the design provides superior rejection of out-of-band interference from 700-900MHz 4G/LTE signals which, when deployed, will operate in a frequency band adjacent to digital TV channels.

Both parts are highly integrated, low power and cost-effective, which makes this set-top box design meet the needs of the governments that, in many cases, will provide the STB to consumers at low or no cost.

“Many countries that have already switched to all-digital TV have learned that interference from 4G phones is a big problem that will only get bigger as these mobile data services gain in popularity,” said Brian Sprague, Vice President and General Manager, Broadband and Consumer Products at MaxLinear. “The MxL603 has the industry’s best interference filters integrated into the IC so that expensive external filters are not required. The signal reception performance is also the best on the market, and when combined with the STiH253 makes for a compelling solution.”

“Around the world, free TV is still very popular, and is expected to remain strong with expanded HD channels,” said Eric Benoit, Senior Business Development Manager at STMicroelectronics. “This cost-optimized STB design suits the needs of governments, but also can leverage the advanced functionality of the STiH253 to bring DVR and other advanced features for pay TV operators deploying hybrid satellite or IP STBs with DVB-T2.”

Technical Highlights: STiH253

The STiH253 full-featured digital video broadcast device includes a single DVB-T2 demodulator for highly integrated terrestrial set-top boxes. The core of ST’s expanded family of STB SoCs is an enhanced processing engine with integrated on-chip features for more efficient end-product design. This robust processing engine enables operators to use lower-cost memory while meeting the latest low-power objectives. This STB SoC supports the full range of HD broadcast and multimedia codecs, hybrid and IP standards, as well as the latest security and content-protection standards with integrated critical middleware stacks from the leading providers.

The STiH253 enables operators to offer consumers new multimedia-rich services and viewing experiences, including new 3DTV features. Faster DDR3 memory is also supported, and the applications CPU benefits from an L2 cache. The STiH253 keeps pace with the industry’s latest advanced security requirements, and an integrated standby controller enables the STiH253 to target stringent low-power regulations.

Technical Highlights: MxL603

The MxL603 is part of MaxLinear’s MxL600 “super radio” family of 4 mm x 4 mm tuner ICs. It features an RF loop-through port and an accurate input power detector and was specifically designed to exceed the requirements of new broadcast standards such as DVB-T2/C2. The MxL603 superior interference rejection circuitry can block 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, MoCA and EoC signals without the need for expensive external filters associated with legacy solutions.

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.