Broadcom Corp. and Philips Semiconductor are joining forces to create a next-generation silicon tuner that can be added to cable modems.
Under the joint program announced Tuesday, Philips will supply Broadcom with a new direct-conversion silicon tuner specifically designed for a cable modem's lower power architecture. Broadcom has taken that technology and integrated it into its new BCM3419 chip.
Using a direct-conversion silicon tuner in a cable modem has advantages compared to older dual-conversion schemes. Not only does it cut down on design complexity and cost by eliminating filters between two tuners, but it also saves power. That could be useful as cable modem applications including Voice-over-IP take hold in the marketplace.
"The technology demands for cable modems are changing to reflect the growing number of uses seen by cable operators, including line powered or battery backed voice modems," said Jay Kirchoff, Broadcom's director of cable modem marketing for the Broadband Communications Business Group. "Working with Philips on this next-generation tuner technology will allow our customers to support a growing number of cable modem applications that are not possible today with dual-conversion tuners."
Broadcom is now providing samples of the new chip, priced at $5 each for 25,000 unit orders.