LSI Logic has developed what it claims is the world's first true integrated VLSI tuner for digital cable modems.
A combination of the architecture and the process technology in the Hi-Q device has allowed LSI to either remove or integrate 150 discrete components, leaving only 10 external components — one SAW filter for the IF, a 32MHz master clock, three to four inductors and two capacitors and resistors for the internal low-pass filter.
Phil Welsh, director of marketing for the broadband access division at LSI Logic, said: "This is equivalent to the most highly integrated part in cellphones — if this was GSM, the RF integration would be a world first.
"Cellular only has to handle one octave range of signal, while this device handles from 50MHz to 1GHz with the same performance, and a noise figure of 7dB, across the whole range."
The modular 3.3V CMOS process technology — which Welsh would not comment on but said it was not the latest 0.13µm G12 process — also allows the power to be reduced from 1.5W to 600mW from a single supply rather than having to have several. Not having to go off-chip between separate components also helps reduce the power as the drive currents are lower, he says.
The integration has also removed the need for tracking filters that need to be tuned by hand during the box manufacturing process.
The first version is aimed at cable modems using the Docsis and EuroDocsis standards which use 6 and 8MHz bands, respectively.