Broadcom Announces Advanced DTV Receiver

Broadcom Corporation today announced an advanced, single-chip digital TV (DTV) receiver that establishes a new standard of performance for digital TV reception in both cable and local broadcast television environments. The Broadcom BCM3520’s superior performance, coupled with the integration of both analog and digital functions and a “plug-and-play” feature, improves the reliability and reduces the cost of
delivering digital television programming to consumers. 

The BCM3520 implements a unique system architecture that enables the receiver to reliably acquire, track and demodulate signals in the presence of interference and a wide range of varying multi-path channel conditions with the presence of noise. Based on independent testing by Communications Research Centre (CRC) in Canada, the BCM3520 exceeds current levels of VSB performance for reliable signal reception.  “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,” said Yiyan Wu, Principal Research Scientist at Communications Research Centre (CRC), Canada. “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.”

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the tests conducted by CRC,” said Brian Sprague, Broadcom’s Senior Director of Marketing, Broadband Communications Business Group. “The availability of digital TV receiver technology that offers reliable signal reception is essential for consumer acceptance of digital terrestrial TV broadcasting.”

The BCM3520 is a highly integrated digital TV receiver chip compatible with both the North American digital terrestrial broadcast television
standard, or the Advanced Television System Committee (ATSC) standard, and the digital cable television standard. The receiver chip is capable of receiving all standard definition and high-definition digital formats (SDTV/HDTV) and provides cable “plug-and-play” capability.  The “plug-and-play” feature allows for the development of digital cable-ready televisions that can plug directly into a cable system and receive analog and most digital cable services, without an external set-top box.

“We have focused on reducing overall system cost by integrating the functionality required by the “plug-and-play” market into a single chip, as well as achieving new levels of system performance for the HDTV market,” said Sprague. “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.”

BCM3520 Features

The BCM3520 is a “plug-and-play” DTV receiver. The chip contains a digital receiver compatible with both North American digital cable television and digital terrestrial broadcast television standards. The chip contains a digital National Television Systems Committee (NTSC) demodulator that allows television and set-top box manufacturers to offer consumers the ability to receive NTSC analog broadcast signals as well as HDTV. An out-of-band QPSK receiver is also included for compatibility to North American digital cable standards and to meet the needs of the “plug & play” requirements. The BCM3520 also integrates a complete on-chip stereo audio decoder providing a stereo left/right, mono or secondary audio programming (SAP) output via a pair of integrated high-precision audio digital to analog converters (DACs).  This feature eliminates the need for additional off-chip components.

The BCM3520, when combined with Broadcom’s recently announced BCM7038, offers television and set-top box manufacturers a complete digital TV
solution.  The BCM7038 is a highly integrated HDTV/PVR chip that offers superior digital picture and sound quality and new advanced capabilities not yet available on HDTV systems.

Pricing and Availability

The BCM3520 is available in sample quantities today.  It is priced at $20 each in 10,000 piece quantities and is packaged in a 144-pin PQFP.