High-performance silicon tuners offer zero-power loop-through for cable STBs

March 16, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
NXP Semiconductors N.V. has introduced the TDA18250A and TDA18260A – its latest high-performance single and dual silicon tuners for cable set-top-boxes (STBs) covering worldwide digital cable standards. The TDA18250A and TDA18260A are the industry’s first silicon tuners to offer zero-power loop-through, enabling STB manufacturers to comply with the latest EU Ecodesign Directive requirements, which set standby power consumption levels at less than half a watt for simple STBs starting in 2013.

The new generation of cable silicon tuners from NXP is also the industry’s first to fully integrate 8-kV of ESD protection inside the chip, enhancing robustness and further reducing the number of components required. Together, the integrated zero-power loop-through and ESD protection help to save PCB space in the STB, simplifying layout at the critical RF antenna input section, enabling better RF performance, and bringing down the total of bill of materials (BoM) by approximately US 20 cents.

As stricter EU Ecodesign requirements go into effect, there is growing awareness among manufacturers and consumers about the importance of minimizing standby power consumption. During three hours of daily STB use, the loop-through typically burns through more electricity than the tuner itself. With the TDA18250A and TDA18260A, cable STB power consumption in standby mode is reduced while the loop-through function remains active – even allowing consumers to watch analog TV without switching on the set-top-box. By integrating zero-power loop-through into the silicon tuner itself, NXP is introducing a innovation without requiring additional discrete components or introducing additional sensitivity and complexity into cable STB design and manufacturing.

Samples of the TDA18250A and TDA18260A cable silicon tuners can be ordered from NXP starting in April 2012.

More information about theTDA18250A cable silicon tuner at