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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 15, 2011

A New Frontier in Cable TV with Broadcom's New Tuner Technology

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

As the demand for new services, more channels and faster downloads increase, so does the demand for broadcast and broadband bandwidth. Broadcom Corporation (News - Alert), which announced its industry first 1 GHz Full-Band Capture (FBC) digital cable tuner technology, claims to be adequately equipped to meet this need.

In a press release, Dan Marotta, executive vice president & general manager, Broadcom, said, "Driving the next frontier in cable TV, Broadcom's breakthrough in tuner design reduces the cost to transition current cable platforms to hybrid IP-based solutions, proliferating IP content delivery and services throughout the home and to connected devices."

Broadcom's FBC digital cable tuner technology replaces multiple tuners with a single FBC digital tuner supporting as many de-modulators as required, reducing dramatically the number of components in use. It also digitizes the entire 1GHz downstream spectrum.

In addition, it also provides flexibility in bandwidth deployment allowing any demodulator to tune to any frequency. The channel change technology, when paired with FBC, enables quick channel change with any frequency.

The new tuner architecture reduces power consumption by more than 50 percent and accelerates the deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateways and hybrid IP cable STBs. Given the increase in the number of connected devices and a hybrid IP cable architecture, operators can provide 'anywhere' entertainment with live streaming.

Cable operators are thus in a position to offer consumers new high-bandwidth service, a large number of HD broadcast channels, video-on-demand programs and multi-megabit network access.

Broadcom's new BCM cable multi-receiver SoCs and the Euro/DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway SoC are the industry's first fully integrated solutions to support FBC technology and are now being shipped.

TMCnet reported that Broadcom Corporation expanded the opportunity for OEMs to deliver wireless innovation in personal computers, notebooks and netbooks with its BCM43142 InConcert combo chip. The new chip combines WiFi (News - Alert) Direct connectivity with seamless proximity-based pairing, dramatically simplifying wireless connectivity in the home.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.