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Silicon tuner advances HDTV

Santa Clara, Calif.&#8212Proclaiming a step increase in performance using a heretofore unseen functionality set, Xceive Corporation says its XC5000, reportedly the industry's most highly integrated silicon tuner IC, exceeds worldwide analog and digital TV requirements for terrestrial and cable reception and flat-panel, high definition TV. Indeed, it's positioned as a replacement for the conventional “can” tuner in universal use.

“By March 2007 the FCC will require digital tuners be built into all U.S. TVs,” said Jean-Louis Bories, president and CEO. “The XC5000 is optimized to meet all future requirements for NTSC and ATSC compliance and is well positioned to capture a major share of the U.S. television market.” In this context, the chip touts an extended feature set that's designed to provide a significant advance in traditional tuner circuitry. “Xceive's XC5000 is designed to replace the traditional “can” tuners that, until now, have been the industry standard,” adds Alain-Serge Porret, vice president of engineering. “The superior functionality, feature set, global standards compliance and reliability of the XC5000, make those prior-generation tuners obsolete.”

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Optimized for large-screen hybrid TVs, the XC5000, touted as the only to include a programmable DSP to optimize hardware functionality and minimize tuner-to-tuner performance variations, sets claim to the industry's best sensitivity, adjacent channel and phase noise performance, and dynamic range. The DSP further adds previously unseen functionality to facilitate efficient production testing in the manufacturing phase through accurate real-time monitoring of key parameters including SNR, signal strength, and gain, as well as to provide unique screen monitoring capabilities at the viewer's end.

As for tuner performance, the chip meets an unweighted signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of 54 dB and a noise figure better than 6 dB for traditional analog TV. Those figures, according Alvin Wong, marketing manager, represent a 4 dB, and 2 dB, improvement over the traditional “can” tuner, respectively, and in this case represent a significant improvement in the system's gain-noise margin budget to make a difference in delivering higher quality video images. The chip (actually a silicon-germanium design) provides a dynamic range of 95 dB.

Operationally, the DSP facilitiates reconfiguration of on-board filters to meet all worldwide TV standards, including the requirements of ATSC, OpenCable, DVBT/C/H, DMB-TH and ISDB-T. The chip's RF gain blocks are adjusted on the fly to optimize quality despite wide variations in the strength of the received TV signal. The XC5000 supports onboard demodulation of NTSC, PAL and SECAM TV standards. The chip also integrates all SAW filters and video/audio demodulation circuitry.
At the viewer's end, Xceive cites significant visual improvements in scanning and viewing capability for its XC5000 over existing silicon and “can” tuners. The differentiators include the chip's QuickTune circuitry, which provides a complete scan of more than 100 channels in less than two seconds. That's about 10 to 15 times faster than any tuner now provides, said Alvin Wong. In addition, its ChannelVista function, the company's picture-in-picture (PIP) television technology, allows the viewer to watch up to 12 video channels simultaneously around the main channel.

Click here for the product brief. Samples of the XC5000 are now available. Production quantities will begin shipping in 2Q. The XC5000, in a 7-by-7 mm, 48-pin QFN package, will be priced at less than $6 each in volume quantities.

Xceive Corp. , 1-408-486-5610, www.xceive.com

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