NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. --Conexant Systems Inc. today expanded its family of set-top box solutions with a front-end chip set for digital broadcast satellite (DBS) applications that reduces the required external components by 50%.
The CX24108/CX24110 silicon tuner/quadrature phase shift key (QPSK) demodulator is a highly-integrated solution for set-top box and PC receiver card applications that operates from a standard 5-volt power supply.
This chip set complements Conexant's interactive TV decoder solution, the CX22490/1, also announced today, and these new products combined offer a complete satellite set-top box system solution, the company said.
Peter Putnam, product line manager for Conexant's Digital Infotainment Division, called the new chip set "another milestone toward solving the cost and complexity challenges faced by satellite set-top OEMs. This easy-to-implement solution dramatically reduces the component count required to implement a complete satellite receiver front-end and enables manufacturers to eliminate the bulky, expensive tuner can used in traditional designs."
DBS comprises the largest segment of the set-top box market and is used today by DirecTV, Dish Network, PremireWorld, SkyPerfecTV!, BSkyB, Galaxy Latin America and Sky Latin America. DBS signals carry a wide variety of television programming including live sports and pay-per-view programs, as well as high-bandwidth PC applications such as Internet access.
According to Cahners In-Stat Group in Phoenix, the market for DBS set-top boxes is poised to grow from 14 million units in 1999 to 23 million units by 2002. "Reducing the set-top box cost is extremely important to network operators who are subsidizing the cost to consumers," said Michelle Abraham, senior analyst, Cahners In-Stat Group. "Conexant's front-end chip set will help lower the bill of materials by eliminating other components."
The CX24108 radio frequency (RF) satellite tuner IC and the CX24110 binary demodulator with integrated, forward-error correction (FEC) require only half as many external components than competitive alternatives, Conexant said, reducing bill-of-materials costs and increasing manufacturing throughput.
The chip set is the first to operate solely on a standard 5-volt power supply, eliminating the need for the costly 28-volt supply required by alternative offerings. In addition, the product's 5-volt operation enables system manufacturers to design solutions that attach directly to the PC's internal PCI bus -- without the need for a costly DC-to-DC converter. This feature will reduce the complexity for operators to provision their services by making set-top box functionality easy and inexpensive to deploy within the PC platform.
The CX24108 is packaged in a 48-pin thermally enhanced thin quad flat pack (eTQFP) and the CX24110 is packaged in a 100-pin plastic quad flat pack (PQFP). Available now, the chip set is priced at less than $10 in OEM production quantities.