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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 12, 2012

MaxLinear Launches MxL603 TV Tuner for Digital Cable and Terrestrial Set-Top Box Applications

By Arvind Arora, TMCnet Contributor

Digital cable and terrestrial transmission technologies have been going through constant development and evolution. In order to cope up with these ever changing technologies, enterprises and end-users need future ready digital reception equipments that can enable them to receive uninterrupted and efficient signals.

MaxLinear, Inc., a Carlsbad, California based provider of radio frequency and mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for broadband communications applications, has introduced its advanced TV tuner for digital cable and terrestrial set-top box applications, named MxL603.

The MxL603 features low-power 65-nm digital CMOS process technology and offers support to a number of digital cable and terrestrial television reception standards, such as DVB-T/T2, ISDB-T, ATSC, ATSC M/H, DTMB, ITU J.83 Annex A/B/C, DVB-C2, DOCSIS and EuroDOCSIS. Enterprises can configure the solution for any of these standards, which enables them to re-use the same design in a variety of markets.

Advanced MxL600 ‘super radio’ range of four mm x four mm tuner products by MaxLinear comprises of two solutions, and MxL603 is the second of them. Prior to this, last year it had launched a global hybrid tuner named MxL601. Equipped with an RF loop-through port, the MxL603 device has been developed with an aim to surpass the requirements of new broadcast standards such as DVB-T2/C2, and features a sensitive input power detector.

It is not necessary to deploy expensive external filters with the MxL603, as it offers effective rejection of out-of-band interference from 4G/LTE (News - Alert), Wi-Fi, MoCA and EoC signals. Competitive solutions available in the market need these expensive external filters for rejecting interference signals, which increases the overall installation cost of the solution.

4G/LTE and Wi-Fi enabled devices are being adopted at a high rate across the globe that makes interference problems and field failures a serious issue for set-top box manufacturers which can be addressed by the MxL603 device.

“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,” commented Brian Sprague, vice president and general manager at MaxLinear. “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.”

Featuring the advanced edge blocker immunity technology from MaxLinear, the MxL603 offers an impressive noise figure of 3.8 decibels and enables effective filtering of strong signals from adjacent channels. The set-top box manufacturers can leverage its enhanced phase noise performance to develop solutions that will confirm to the tuner specifications in future as well.

In July 2011, MaxLinear announced that it has won a major Chinese cable video set-top box design win with Shenzhen Skyworth Digital Technology. The design win enabled Skyworth to use the MxL203RF in a new digital-to-analog converter for the Chinese cable market.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration click here.

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Arvind Arora is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Arvind's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves