SAN DIEGO--Silicon Wave Inc. here this week became the first Bluetooth integrated circuit vendor to jump into the TV tuner chip race. The San Diego company announced a single-chip cable TV tuner with all of the critical radio-frequency elements for cable modems and set-top boxes.
Silicon Wave said its SiW100 device includes the front-end receiver and channel selection functions for a dual-conversion CATV tuner in a 48-pin leadless chip package. The company said it leveraged experience from development of 2.4-GHz transceivers for Bluetooth radio-frequency links to integrate cable RF functions into an IC while meeting specifications for low distortion and phase noise.
The SiW100 chip dissipates less than 1 watt in full power mode and offers variable power and sleep modes optimal for services powered through the cable provider's network, according to Silicon Wave. The IC uses a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) BiCMOS process, which Silicon Wave said delivers lower power, smaller size and better isolation than traditional CMOS or bipolar technologies.
Last week, Broadcom introduced its single-chip RF TV tuner device, implemented in CMOS technology (see Dec. 10 story). Earlier this year, startup Microtune Inc. in Plano, Tex., became the first company to announce a TV tuner chip, which is being fabricated in a BiCMOS technology by IBM Corp. (see Dec. 10 story)
Silicon Wave's SOI-based CMOS chip includes the front-end low-noise amplifier (LNA), automatic gain control (AGC), voltage-controlled oscillator (VOC), and synthesizer with no external resonant elements. Silicon Wave said it expects the price for tuner chip to be under $10 for quantities of 10,000 units. Limited quantities will be available in the second quarter of 2000, said the company.