Leveraging both its experience and expertise as a leading silicon tuner supplier to the cable market, Microtune(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:TUNE) introduced the MicroTuner(TM) MT2170, the industry’s first 1-gigahertz (GHz) input tuner based on the new CableLabs(R) DOCSIS(R) 3.0 specification. Microtune’s new tuner chip is engineered to deliver the impressive data speeds (greater than 160 Mbps) and wider bandwidth (100 MHz) demanded by cable equipment manufacturers for an easy, reliable, and cost-effective way to implement DOCSIS 3.0.
The MT2170 tuner offers the equivalent functionality of four DOCSIS 2.0 digital tuners in a highly integrated miniature package, shrinking the tuner footprint and reducing the power consumption by approximately 75% compared to pre-DOCSIS 3.0 multi-tuner solutions. Equally important, the MT2170 significantly reduces the radio frequency (RF) bill of materials costs.
When integrated into cable modems or video-over-IP set-top boxes, the MT2170 delivers speeds greater than 160 Mbps. This enhanced throughput will permit cable operators to cost-effectively offer bandwidth-intensive digital services today, to position their products for integrated service innovations in the future, and to aggressively compete with high-powered fiber-to-the-home networks. Cable premise equipment can be designed to support fast high-definition video downloads, video file exchanges, time-shifted and place-shifted video, Internet-Protocol (IP) voice and interactive on-line gaming.
The MT2170 is the first in a new generation of Microtune products to support the DOCSIS 3.0 industry specifications. In the cable modem, the tuner functions as a ‘gateway’ component; it receives and tunes the signals, embedded with data and/or voice, delivered over the cable network to the subscriber.
“DOCSIS 3.0 represents a major technology shift in the cable industry, permitting cable operators to enable faster, scalable broadband Internet services, including movie downloads and other IP video,” said James A. Fontaine, President and CEO of Microtune. “Our new wideband tuner is key to enabling true DOCSIS 3.0, and we have been actively involved in the definition of the DOCSIS 3.0 specification which ensures our compliance with this important standard. As a major supplier to the industry’s premier equipment manufacturers, we are providing our customers cost-effective and highly advanced technology to help them accelerate adoption of DOCSIS 3.0 capabilities in their next-generation cable products.”
“Consumer demand for more TV content, combined with the rollout of new voice, video, and data services, has enabled cable TV operators to maintain a market leadership position in both pay-TV services and telecommunications service bundling,” said Mike Paxton, Principal Analyst, In-Stat. “Telcos, targeting residential customers with new 100-Mbps services, are placing increasing pressure on the cable industry to match their fiber-based performance levels. DOCSIS 3.0 and wideband technologies are part of the cable industry’s effort to counter the telco’s capacity advantage, and Microtune’s new wideband tuner is a key component that will enable cable operators to deliver new high-bandwidth broadband Internet services.”
The MT2170 is a highly integrated single-chip tuner optimized to receive and tune radio frequencies in the 50-MHz to 1-GHz range of the cable spectrum. It supports the DOCSIS 3.0 channel bonding technology, a bandwidth expansion technique that combines four DOCSIS channels to significantly increase data rates. The MT2170 can accept bonded channels within bandwidths up to 100 MHz when paired with a DOCSIS 3.0-capable demodulator.
The MT2170 is engineered to function in a much more hostile signal environment than that experienced by conventional cable modem tuners. While a conventional cable modem tuner need only process a single stand-alone 6 MHz channel, the MT2170 is able to process wideband bonded channels in the presence of multiple interfering signals, while at the same time meeting stringent DOCSIS 3.0 sensitivity and adjacent channel interference requirements. The MT2170 also extends the operational frequency range up to 1 GHz, ensuring that cable operators will be able to make effective use of the additional spectrum provided by future network upgrades.
With unmatched integration, the MT2170 shrinks the tuner footprint and cuts power consumption by approximately 75% compared to comparable multi-tuner solutions. Utilizing state-of-the art silicon germanium processes, the MT2170 provides a high-performance, highly integrated tuner solution at a significantly lower cost than alternative solutions—all in a small 7×7 mm QFN package.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The MT2170 tuner will be sampling in second quarter 2007 to select customers and is priced at less than $5.00 in volume quantities.
Microtune, Inc. is a silicon and subsystems company that designs and markets radio frequency (RF) solutions for the worldwide broadband communications and transportation electronics markets. Inventor of the MicroTuner(TM) single-chip broadband tuner, Microtune offers a portfolio of advanced tuner, amplifier, and upconverter products that enable the delivery of information and entertainment across new classes of consumer electronics devices. The Company currently holds 69 U.S. patents for its technology. Founded in 1996, Microtune is headquartered in Plano, Texas, with key design and sales centers located around the world.
Microtune is a registered trademark and MicroTuner is a trademark of Microtune, Inc.
DOCSIS 3.0 is a series of industry specifications that enable cable operators to offer significantly higher data rates to their broadband customers. DOCSIS and CableLabs are trademarks of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.