“Until now, silicon tuners have been designed for either the FTA market or the operator market, but not both. The TDA20142 is creating a new category of satellite silicon tuner – one that is exceptionally suited for both FTA and operator applications – while delivering outstanding performance in both,” said Tim Kirstein, satellite RF product marketing manager, NXP Semiconductors. “The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the TDA20142 is made possible by NXP’s expertise in High Performance Mixed Signal technologies, as well as our long heritage in developing quality high-performance tuners.”
FTA tuners require very high sensitivity, but often ignore linearity. Operator tuners, on the other hand, do not require the same sensitivity as FTA tuners, but need very high linearity. The TDA20142 was designed to provide industry-leading RF performance in both areas. In particular, the device’s low Noise Figure of typically 5.5 dB means excellent sensitivity for FTA applications, while its high IIP3 of typically +10dBm means high linearity for operator applications. At the same time, each application benefits from the enhanced performance provided by optimizations in the other. Because the TDA20142 addresses both high and low ends of the power spectrum, it has a very wide dynamic range of approximately 100dB.
To achieve the sensitivity required by FTA applications, it is very common for STB makers to use an external Low Noise Amplifier (LNA). By integrating this FTA LNA and loopthrough, the TDA20142 reduces the bill of materials for STB manufacturers, while reducing the complexity of these designs dramatically. The TDA20142 further reduces BoM by including a flexible crystal oscillator and buffered clock output with optional dividers; with this feature, STB designers can reduce BoM costs by sharing crystal clocks between multiple ICs.
The benefits delivered through the STB value chain are significant. With the TDA20142, set-top box manufacturers can use a single reference design for all single satellite applications, reducing costs and avoiding the need to source and stock LNAs and multiple types of tuners. Free-to-air broadcasters moving from standard definition to high-definition satellite STBs now have a cost-effective, higher-quality alternative to using more expensive silicon tuners, while operators benefit from the ability to receive lower-power signals and serve markets with marginal reception. Ultimately, STBs using the TDA20142 enable a better viewing experience, even for viewers at the edge of the satellite footprint.