Single-chip RF front-end helps implement direct broadcast satellite - Embedded.com

Single-chip RF front-end helps implement direct broadcast satellite

The first product in Silicon Laboratories' SiRX family is an integrated single-chip satellite RF front-end for direct broadcast satellite (DBS). Offering the high performance and small size, the Si21xx devices are suited for all free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV DBS equipment including satellite set-top boxes, PC cards for satellite TV, DBS receivers for automotive or avionic use, DVD recorders, and digital TVs with integrated satellite receivers.

The part integrates a high-performance satellite L-band RF tuner, a dual-mode DVB-S/DSS digital demodulator, and a power-efficient, step-up supply controller for the low-noise block converter (LNB) into a 6- by 8-mm CMOS solution. It supports an on-chip hardware blindscan feature that improves channel scan time. This feature reduces set-top box installation time for FTA applications where channel locations are unknown.

The integration of the tuner, demodulator, and LNB supply functions eliminates the need for external signaling among three separate ICs, which simplifies the required software-programming overhead as well as the number of board signal traces. The single-chip RF-to-digital architecture of the SiRX satellite RF front-end family reduces design time and allows an easy conversion from terrestrial or cable reception to satellite reception for existing designs.

Prices for the Si21xx starts at $7.37. An evaluation board with the recommended design and layout is available for $150. For more information, visit www.silabs.com.

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