Demodulator chip to enable widespread satellite broadband access

May 05, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics is claiming an industry-first for a satellite demodulator, potentially offering “fast, affordable broadband for all”; the 500 Mbaud High-Symbol-Rate (HSR) chip will increase bandwidth-usage efficiency and throughput in satellite Internet services

The STiD135 enables significantly more efficient bandwidth usage and increased throughput in satellite Internet provisioning when deployed with transponders aimed at using the higher frequency bands to send data via Ka-band communication satellites.

Compliant with DVB-S2, DVB-S2X and DVB-S2 Annex-M, this chip has been designed as part of the French Space Agency (CNES) THD-SAT programme, fostering the development of cost-efficient, fast broadband Internet access via High Throughput Satellite (HTS) at a performance equivalent to fibre-optic, ADSL, and 4G networks, taking advantage of the universal accessibility of satellite signals.

The relevant standards are DVB-S2 (ETSI EN 302 307 part 1), DVB-S2X (ETSI EN 302 307 part 2) and DVB-S2 Annex-M parts of the DVB-S2 standard. The THD-SAT program of the French Space Agency (CNES) is supported by the French Government, via the program “Economie Numérique” of the PIA (“Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir”).

“The Digital Divide has been clearly identified as an important-to-address societal problem by National and Regional studies such as the European Union’s ‘Digital Agenda’,” said Eric Benoit, Head of Product Line, Headed Platforms, Consumer Product Division, STMicroelectronics. “A fruit of our collaboration with CNES, the new satellite demodulator chip can deliver useful data throughput of up to 600 megabits per second in the Ka band. This represents a valuable step change to what has been available, while simultaneously optimising the bandwidth efficiency that can be achieved in the lower-frequency Ku band. Together, this will help pave the way towards our common goal of ‘broadband for all’.”

“With THD-SAT our ambition is to bring a 10X cost reduction of bandwidth with High-Throughput Ka-band Satellite to distribute fast Internet services at 100/10 Mbps downlink/uplink that would complement, in a cost-efficient way, Fibre To The Home (FTTH) deployment outside densely populated areas,” said Jean-Philippe Taisant, Telecommunication Senior Project Manager, CNES. “The availability of STMicroelectronics’ STiD135 demodulator chip is key to enabling the development of affordable satellite broadband modems.”

The STiD135 is currently sampling.