ATI intros Theater 310 VSB/QAM/NTSC chip

The THEATER 310 demodulates and decodes vestigal sideband (VSB) for ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) terrestrial broadcast, 64 or 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) for digital cable, BTSC (Broadcast Television Systems Committee) for analog audio and demodulates analog NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) for terrestrial and cable reception.

We are very proud that our NXT2002, which is now two generations old, has served as the baseline for 8 VSB receiver performance for the nearly three years. The THEATER 310 establishes the new industry benchmark, not only for ATSC reception, but for integration and features, said Mike Gittings, Director of Digital Television Marketing, DTV/Consumer Products Group, ATI Technologies Inc.  New consumer DTV products require VSB, QAM, and NTSC reception to be competitive. Integrating multiple modes into a single silicon device is important, but the industry needs to remain mindful that performance can’t be compromised in the process.

THEATER 310 is able to deal with strong co-channel NTSC interference, burst noise, adjacent channel interference and single-frequency interferers in addition to its multipath canceling capability. Performance in the field has been substantially improved over past generations by optimizing over hundreds of captured RF (radio frequency) signals representing difficult indoor and outdoor reception conditions. Performance improvements are due in part to increased equalizer span, new and enhanced semi-blind and blind equalization algorithms, faster equalizer update algorithms, and improved synchronization algorithms for timing and carrier recovery.

We have long said that market forces would result in exciting industry innovations that will create continued improvements in the off-air reception capabilities of digital television products, said Consumer Electronics Association CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. The ATI Theater 310 is a prime example of this type of innovation. Technological advancements like the 310 help provide ever-improving value for consumers and will help drive the DTV market.”

In addition to embedded VSB, QAM, NTSC, and BTSC in one device, the THEATER 310 integrated analog front-end reduces the number of intermediate frequency (IF) components that are required in a DTV. The THEATER 310 eliminates the need for a separate analog IF strip and reduces the digital IF strip component count. Furthermore, THEATER 310 includes an EIA/CEA-909 industry standard smart antenna interface to select the best setting on an optional electronically steer-able antenna to further simplify indoor reception.

We are pleased with the continuous improvement of ATSC TV receiver technology. The industry commitment to ATSC Standards has fostered rapid technological innovation, said ATSC President Mark Richer.

THEATER 310 samples and evaluation systems will available in the third quarter of 2003. ATI Technologies will exhibit its DTV technologies at NAB 2003 in booth SU7313 (south hall) April 7-11, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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