Taiwan\’s Spectrock Reveals TV Tuner Chip for Cell Phones

Spectrock Corp of Taiwan has disclosed a prototype of an analog TV tuner chip for cell phones and other small-sized devices.

Spectrock’s module with a prototype of a tuner chip
The Taiwan-based chipmaker has produced a 1.58mm by 1.58mm IC chip with an RF front-end capability for a TV tuner. Users can select from the down-conversion of RF signals or the frequency. A TV tuner circuit can be created by combining the new IC chip, an IC chip for processing IF, and an IC chip for separating YC.

The new IC chip was disclosed by Chairman and CEO Kimitake Utsunomiya at the NE Analog Forum 2004, an event that started on March 9, 2004.Spectrock already revealed that it is developing an IC chip for the tuner. However, this is the first time that the company introduced the chip publicly.

It is currently evaluating the power consumption and reception characteristics. It will use the 0.35-micron rule SiGE bipolar CMOS technology developed by Jazz Semiconductor Inc of the United States.

The prototype is designed to be used as a lower-cost analog tuner circuit and to show the design capability of Spectrock to its customers.

The company plans to develop a 2mm by 2mm IC chip integrating the RF front-end and IF circuit, and the circuit for separating YC by the end of June 2004. Spectrock will use the 0.18-micron SiGe bipolar CMOS technology to manufacture the IC chip.

A Spectrock spokesperson said the chipmaker is in discussions with a Korean mobile phone maker for delivery of the new IC chips to be released at the end of June. A Korean mobile phone operator plans to introduce the new mobile phone terminals equipped with the IC chip, he said.

According to Spectrock, in addition to Korea, there is growing demand for analog tuner IC chips in Japan.

“Although the launch of digital terrestrial broadcasting for mobile devices in Japan is reportedly slated for the latter half 2005, it may be delayed. In addition, it may take some time until such services become widespread nationwide.
For these reasons, we will initially focus on development of analog TV tuners. We assume mobile phone models with a built-in analog tuner, developed by some mobile phone makers, will be released by the end of this year,” the spokesperson said.

Source : neasia.nikkeibp.com