SAN FRANCISCO Analog Devices Inc. has announced a mixed-signal front-end for broadband communications to the home. Intended to aid wireless and cable modem access, the AD9862 includes two 12-bit A/D converters that perform 64 Msamples/second and two 14-bit D/A converters that perform 128 Msamples/s.
In addition to achieving high integration, the front-end offers new partitioning options for makers of set-top boxes and wireless home-access gateways, said Joe Dipilato, product line manager for broadband access products at Analog Devices. "These applications will drive each other," he said.
ADI cites the AD9862 as an example of its so-called "Smart Partitioning" approach to communication ICs. Rather than integrate all parts of a set-top box, cable modem, or wireless broadband access gateway onto a single chip, which would involve a lengthy development cycle, the company partitions a system according to functions. Related functions are grouped and the chip's manufacturing technology and packaging are chose to suit the function, the company said.
Under this approach, a three-piece chip set may offer higher performance, lower cost and arrive to market faster than a single mixed-signal IC, said Dave Robertson, product line director for high-speed data converters.
ADI has used Smart Partitioning to develop a series of application-specific standard products to provide broadband access and home networking. The AD9873, which integrates five data converters and an interpolation filter, serves as the front-end to a set-top box. The AD9876, which includes an A/D, a D/A and an anti-alias filter, works as an interface between phone lines with DSL access and home networks that use power lines.
The AD9862 introduced Tuesday (April 30) breaks new ground with the speed and resolution of its integrated data converters, ADI said. Optimized for wireless broadband applications such as video-on-demand, it provides the higher resolutions and data rates required by broadband access equipment, Dipilato said. "People are pushing for bandwidth," he said.