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New MaxLinear ISDB-T 1-seg tuner-demodulator delivers mobile TV without external antenna

RF chipmaker MaxLinear is out of the gate with another mobile TV breakthrough. This time it's an ISDB-T 1-seg diversity tuner for mobile and portable TV that makes antennas things of the past.

Most mobile TV designs have an external whip antenna to improve reception in dense urban and high-speed environments in the face of multipath reflections, coverage gaps and Doppler effects. However, the external antenna comes with a cost: It is expensive, breaks easily and makes it impossible to waterproof the handset. But replacing the external antenna with a single internal antenna results in a loss of sensitivity within the device and complicated design workarounds.

MaxLinear 's new MxL751SM SOC meets these challenges head-on with dual RF inputs, a diversity combiner and 1-seg demodulator. The SOC's dual internal antenna architecture reduces system costs and failure rates. Dynamic switching between diversity and single-channel modes is built into the device, and all channel filtering is integrated, along with providing digital carrier and timing recovery.

A tiny 3.5mm by 3.5mm in size, in a 49-pin WLCSP package, the MxL751SM features low power consumption — as little as 50mW. The MxL751SM supports a tuning range of 470MHz to 806MHz, making it appropriate for mobile devices for Japanese and South American markets, including handsets, portable video devices, personal navigation devices, handheld gaming consoles and netbooks. The MxL751SM is also MaxLinear's first mobile TV SoC to include an integrated demodulator.

The MxL751SM's API-based software architecture simplifies programming and eliminates complicated register calls. Programming is done through a standard I2C interface. Evaluation boards, reference schematics, detailed bill of materials, HW and SW design guides, source code and performance test reports are available on request. The MxL751SM is expected to be available by the end of the year.