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Zarlink Intros Mini Demodulator for Portable DTV Sets

Zarlink launched what it is calling the industry's smallest terrestrial DTV demodulator. The entire package measures 7x7 mm and includes an integrated digital IF filter that can reject adjacent channel interference, allowing one 8 MHz wide SAW filter to also be used for 6 or 7 MHz wide DTV channels. It consumes less than 300 mW in a typical application, dropping to 270 mW in a lower power mode. "Sleep" capability is provided for reducing power consumption by a factor of 1,000.

The unit, as you may have guessed, is for the DVB-T standard, not 8-VSB. How long will be it until we see such a device for ATSC reception? That's hard to say, but Zarlink's press release reports a bright future for terrestrial DTV, noting, "While most people receive TV signals over cable or satellite connections, as consumers begin watching TV on personal computers, in cars and even on cell phones, the terrestrial or "line of sight" transmission market is growing. According to company research, Zarlink is the number one provider of terrestrial DTV demodulators and is well positioned to meet the needs of portable DTV equipment designers."

"Portable TV manufacturers need small, low-power components that deliver high performance while operating reliably under the worst signal conditions signal imaginable for consumer DTV products," said Bob Ferreira, Zarlink's DTV front-end product line director. "With the ZL10355 chip, we have customized our core terrestrial demodulator design to address the precise needs of the emerging portable TV market."

Zarlink demodulators include a very high-speed "blind scan and auto re-acquisition" function that can automatically scan the entire broadcast band faster than software-based channel scanning algorithms, a very desirable feature for tuners used in portable or mobile DTV receivers.

See the Zarlink ZL10355 product page for more technical information on the demodulator.