In my NAB Notes at the top of this week's RF Report, I mentioned there have been significant improvements in VSB receiver technology. One example of this is the Broadcom BCM3520 single-chip DTV receiver. The Broadcom press release said that independent testing by Communications Research Centre (CRC) in Canada found the chip "exceeds current levels of VSB performance for reliable signal reception." Dr. Yiyan Wu, Principal Research Scientist at CRC explained, "We have subjected Broadcom's BCM3520 to an extensive list of test conditions and the performance under a variety of severe multi-path channel conditions is remarkable. The BCM3520 has acquired and tracked signals under fast dynamic multi-path and fading channel test conditions under which all other VSB receivers that we've tested have failed."
Brian Sprague, Broadcom's Senior Director of Marketing, Broadband Communications Business Group, said, "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the tests conducted by CRC. The availability of digital TV receiver technology that offers reliable signal reception is essential for consumer acceptance of digital terrestrial TV broadcasting." "The BCM3520 will allow TV or set-top box manufacturers to provide consumers with products that offer both the features they expect with the performance they value."
The chip is "plug-and-play" and also includes an NTSC demodulator (with BTSC stereo) and a QAM demodulator compatible with North American digital cable standards. The BCM3520 can be combined with the Broadcom BCM7038 HDTV/PVR chip for a complete DTV receiver system.
When I checked on April 25, information on the chip had not been posted on the Broadcom Web site. Check the Broadcom HDTV/SDTV Video, Graphics and Receiver Chips page for information on other Broadcom DTV chips. From the cascading products menu on the left side, select CABLE, then HDTV/SDTV and a list DTV chips should appear.
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