Fresh on the heels of a court decision in its seemingly never-ending legal battle with rival Microtune Inc., Broadcom Corp. has begun shipping a new advanced digital tuner to power voice, video and data communications.
A U.S. federal judge last week ruled the new BCM3416 is not subject to an injunction issued against Broadcom in its tuner technology suit with Microtune. Substantial changes included in the BCM3416 apparently were enough to exempt it from the injunction, according to the judge.
Six of the top 10 cable modem providers use Broadcom tuner silicon, and so far, modems with the BCM3416 have passed Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 from Cable Television Laboratories Inc. In some cases, modem vendors have already started shipping units with the new tuner chip on board.
"This is a major step forward for suppliers of both cable modems and digital set-top boxes," said Jay Kirchoff, director of marketing for Broadcom's cable modem products. "The most exciting aspect of this product is that it incorporates the newest technology demanded by the rapidly-changing digital communications marketplace. The BCM3416 leverages Broadcom's tuner experience to allow cable modem and set-top box manufacturers to use newer, cheaper RF components in overall tuner design."
The BCM3416 chip costs $4 in 10,000-piece quantities.