PARIS - In hopes of increasing its share in the global satellite set-top box market, STMicroelectronics on Tuesday (April 27) unveiled a single-chip silicon tuner designed to receive digital TV or Web-based material via satellite.
ST, the world's largest IC supplier for set-top boxes, hopes to reinforce its market position by introducing the new silicon tuner that can be paired with ST's own multi-standard demodulator. That device is widely used in current satellite TV applications.
The new tuner, housed in a single 32-lead package, will replace discrete tuner circuitry in existing products. By integrating the RF processing circuitry into the chip, the silicon tuner also eliminates the need for specialized RF expertise.
Chris Carter, marketing manager of satellite and terrestrial business unit of ST's set-top box division, said the new silicon tuner differs from ST's previous tuner-integrated front-end solution used in Direct Satellite Broadcast market in the United States or free-to-air market in the U.K. The new tuner IC is designed for the global market, including Japan's 8PSK-based digital satellite broadcast service called BS4, he said.
Designed to support the DVB, DirecTV and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) protocols, the new chip, called STB6000, can be used in satellite set tops around the world. The tuner has an input frequency range from 950 MHz to 2150 MHz, thus meeting global satellite broadcast requirements.
It also supports symbol frequency rates from 1 to 45 Msymbols/s. The chip includes fully integrated local oscillator and phase-locked loop, differential I/Q outputs and a buffered XO output for clocking other devices.
ST worked with RF Magic, a San Diego-based fabless semiconductor company which designed the set-top chip. RF Magic, which focuses on RFICs, was founded in 2000 by a team of engineers who had previously worked at Conexant and ComStream. The STB6000 is available now in production volumes with U.S. pricing at $2.