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TV tuner chip for automobiles does 125 mph, worldwide DTV and analog

Ingolstadt, Germany and Plano, TX — Microtune introduced what the company says is a first-of-its-kind tuner chip for high-speed in-car TV. The MicroTuner MT2067 is a world-standard, automotive-grade TV tuner engineered to provide superior, stable TV reception for passengers in vehicles traveling at top speeds along the autobahn or highway. It enables automakers to improve performance, increase reliability and minimize total RF systems costs when adding real-time broadcast TV to increasingly popular rear-seat entertainment options.

At 7 x 7 millimeters, the miniature MT2067 chip allows auto makers to replace conventional bulky modules with advanced silicon TV tuner chips. In addition to its very low profile, the MT2067 enables customers to design multi-standard global TV receiver platforms. It supports worldwide analog and digital terrestrial standards that include NTSC, PAL, SECAM, DVB-T, DVB-H, ISDB-T, DTMB, ATSC and ATSC-M/H.

Microtune says they have shipped more than 112 million of its silicon TV tuner chips, a technology that the company claims to have invented, and that is now protected by an extensive patent portfolio.

James A. Fontaine, President and CEO of Microtune said, “We combined our silicon RF expertise with our automotive heritage and experience to develop a dedicated automotive TV tuner that yields significant performance, reliability, size and cost benefits. As with our recently announced MT1119 antenna amplifier, the MT2067 is part of a new portfolio of highly integrated RF silicon technology products targeted for the automotive market. It is engineered specifically to meet the complex, rigorous technical, operating and qualification requirements of our automotive customers, providing an advanced electronics solution as the industry strives to deliver competitive entertainment value and options to ever-more demanding consumers.”

Next Page: Engineered for Performance and Reliability in the Harsh Vehicular Environment

MT2067: Engineered for Performance and Reliability in the Harsh Vehicular Environment
High-speed in-car TV puts severe radio frequency (RF) demands on the tuner, and the MT2067 is engineered to solve the technical challenges associated with receiving analog and digital TV signals in a constantly changing, fast-moving environment. It is optimized for excellent sensitivity, superior strong signal behavior and improved channel selectivity, the three most critical technical parameters for mobile TV reception. The MT2067 is also engineered to deliver no-compromise performance for receiving weak signals and signals packed in dense, urban signal environments. It offers Microtune's spur-avoidance technology, which enables high-performance in multi-tuner diversity architectures by preventing interference between tuners.

The MT2067 is a highly integrated, dual-conversion single-chip tuner that supports the RF frequency range from 48 to 862 MHz. An integrated low-noise amplifier ensures excellent system sensitivity, while Microtune's patented “ClearTune” filter technology limits interference from strong undesired channels. The MT2067 tuner automatically controls the RF gain, depending on the receiving conditions. In order to support hybrid-receiver designs, it provides two Intermediate-Frequency (IF) outputs, one for connecting a digital TV demodulator and a second one to connect an analog TV demodulator.

As with Microtune's other automotive products, the MT2067 is engineered to operate in the harsh vehicular environment, meeting the unique challenges of temperature, vibration, and long product-life times as compared to consumer products. Developed to meet stringent automotive specifications, it supports temperatures from -40 to +85°C, and is designed to be qualified according to the requirements of the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) Q100.

Unlike traditional car-TV tuner modules, the MT2067 requires fewer quality-sensitive supporting components. This feature enables system designers to meet the automaker's stringent requirements for reliability and failure rates with less effort and lower cost.

Pricing and Availability
The MT2067 tuner is in production now and is priced at $7.50 per unit in quantities of 10,000.

What the Industry is Saying
Gartner Group

“Like many automotive innovations, car infotainment systems started as a high-end offering and now they are starting to appear as factory-fit options in mid-range cars', explained Paul O'Donovan, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner Group. “Microtune's new silicon TV tuners will help accelerate this trend because they dramatically reduce the size and cost compared to the current generation of tuners.”

IMS Research

“Automakers continue to roll out in-car video as standard or optional equipment to capture attention and differentiate their vehicle brands in a very competitive market,” said Kevin Furr, a senior analyst in automotive electronics at IMS Research. “The goal is a seamless experience for the tech-savvy consumer moving from home to car to destination. With the world switching to digital broadcasting, cost-effective systems providing motion-compatible global digital TV standards are crucial to making over-the-air TV relevant to the in-car experience and a legitimate source of content for automotive entertainment.”

Meko Limited

“For Microtune to be successful in the auto TV market is a double success,” said Bob Raikes, Managing Director of Meko Limited, a leading specialist display market research consultancy in Europe. “Car makers are some of the toughest OEM customers in specifications, performance and cost. The European TV broadcast landscape is immensely complex and difficult to support. We know – we've just completed a research report on that area. To meet both these challenges is a great result and an endorsement of the flexibility and robustness of the Microtune approach.”

Strategy Analytics

“Automotive infotainment system designers are looking for ways to incorporate additional features within the same limited system head-unit space, so chips offering new levels of integration are of high interest to them,” according to Joanne Blight, Director Strategy Analytics Automotive Multimedia & Communications Service. “Automotive OEM TV receiver options for consumers are expected to increase due to the combination of lower costs, improved digital reception, and increased use by vehicle makers of high-resolution multifunction color displays.”

For More Information
Additional information about the MT2067 and the complete suite of Microtune's automotive products is available on the Microtune website. Additionally, to read about the issues and complexities of designing car TV for automotive systems, see Microtune's White Paper, “Technical and Quality Challenges of High-Speed Automotive TV Design.” Mr. Barry Koch, Microtune's Managing Director of Microtune GmbH & Co., KG, shares his view of automotive market trends and opportunities in an interview also available on the site. The website is www.microtune.com.

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