Industry’s most advanced TV tuners from Silicon Labs

Posted By : Nat Bowers
Industry’s most advanced TV tuners from Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs has today announced the new Si21x7 family of silicon TV tuners. Offering the industry’s highest performance, integration and lowest system cost, the Si21x7 silicon TV tuners support all worldwide terrestrial and cable TV standards. With a production history of more than 200 million silicon tuner units shipped into TVs to date, Silicon Labs is providing TV and set-top box makers with an unsurpassed level of field-proven, global performance based on five generations of patented architectural enhancements.

The Si21x7 family includes five products optimized for hybrid analog/digital iDTVs, analog-only TVs, portable TVs, DVD and Blu-ray recorders, and terrestrial and cable STBs. Enhancing performance in several key areas, the Si21x7 TV tuner family offers best-in-class sensitivity and selectivity, reduced BOM cost and low power consumption. The Si21x7 tuners channel selectivity in the presence of terrestrial blockers and in a fully loaded and/or tilted cable spectrum. The tuners improve noise figure across all bands, return loss for a given NF, and linearity over an extended RF input power range. Improvements in these key areas deliver enhanced reception of terrestrial or cable broadcasts across a broad variety of real-world field conditions.

Enabling the lowest BOM cost of any silicon TV tuner solution in mass production, the highly integrated Si21x7 tuners require no external balanced-to-unbalanced transformer on the RF input. Unlike competing silicon TV tuners, this significantly reduces system cost and complexity without performance degradation. Integrating all tracking filter inductors, the Si21x7 TV tuners eliminate the need for inductive power supply filtering, thanks to built-in high supply ripple tolerance, a key consideration for on-board designs. An integrated power-on reset monitor and optional single 3.3 V power supply operation further reduce system cost. Removing the need for costly ESD diodes and reducing BOM cost for Tier 1 TV modules that require higher ESD immunity, the Si21x7 tuners also exhibit enhanced electrostatic discharge protection and performance on pins critical to TV module designs.

The ultra-low noise floor at the IF output for Silicon Labs’ Si2157 and Si2127 TV tuners enables industry-leading video signal-to-noise ratio at the audio/video SoC’s analog demodulator output, resulting in a clearer, crisper and less grainy picture during reception of analog broadcasts. The enhanced linearity over an extended RF input power range results in increased carrier-to-composite second order and composite triple beat, which are the most critical specifications for cable mode reception.

With the growing prevalence of Wi-Fi and LTE communications in the home, it is becoming increasingly important for TV designers to consider the TV tuner’s ability to reject these RF signals, which can interfere with TV reception. The Si21x7 TV tuner architecture addresses this need by offering high rejection of Wi-Fi and LTE signals without requiring external filtering components. This built-in Wi-Fi/LTE signal immunity makes the Si21x7 tuners an ideal solution for smart/connected TVs with integrated Wi-Fi and LTE radios.

Operating at less than 500 mW, the ultra-low-power Si21x7 TV tuners help manufacturers minimize the power consumption of their TV and STB products and achieve compliance with Energy Star and other green energy standards. Low TV tuner power consumption also helps simplify multi-tuner designs by reducing power supply and thermal requirements.

As with all Silicon Labs TV tuners, the Si21x7 family supports all worldwide TV broadcast standards including NTSC, PAL and SECAM for analog TV, and DVB-T2/C2/T/C, ISDB-T/C, ATSC/QAM and DTMB for digital TV. To ensure the utmost flexibility in matching TV tuners with various system architectures, all products within the Si21x7 family have compatible pinouts and share a single software API. This compatibility allows a single module or PCB design to address multiple TV and STB applications for both digital and analog TV. The Si21x7 TV tuner family is also pin-to-pin and API-compatible with the Si21x8 family, enabling a smooth transition for existing customers with no hardware modifications and trivial software updates.

James Stansberry, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs’ broadcast products, comments: “After launching our first TV tuner in 2009, we reached our 100-million-unit shipment milestone in 2012, and now a year later, we’ve shipped more than 200 million units, demonstrating an exponential market momentum that no competitor can match. Solidifying our number-one position in the video tuner market, we are now supplying silicon TV tuners in high volumes to nine out of the world’s top 10 TV makers.”

Pricing and availability

Samples and production quantities of the Si2177/57/47/37/27 TV tuners are available now in a compact 4 mm x 4 mm 28-pin QFN package. Pricing for the Si21x7 hybrid TV tuner family begins at $0.85 USD in 10,000-unit quantities. The Si2177-A-EVB, Si2157-A-EVB, Si2147-A-EVB and Si2137-A-EVB evaluation kits, each priced at $395 (USD MSRP), provide comprehensive platforms for evaluating Silicon Labs’ TV tuners for TV and STB applications.

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