Entropic Communications, Inc. (Entropic) has launched a new multi-mode hybrid RF CMOS silicon tuner, EN4020. The new EN4020 will offer industry leading performance, analog and digital support and enables cost reduction by streamlining production and testing processes for tuner module manufacturers. Developed using CMOS process technology, Entropic's EN4020 breaks the cost barriers, which have historically hindered the adoption of silicon tuners by tuner module manufacturers.

The EN4020 will allow CAN tuner vendors to benefit from the linearity and programmability of silicon tuners in their tuner module designs. Additionally, the EN4020 is the first low-cost CMOS tuner in production to offer Nordig compliance for cable and terrestrial applications.

Entropic’s EN4020 will provide multi-mode functionality to enable the design of a single hardware tuner module that can easily be software-configured for different market applications and requirements. With multi-mode capability, the EN4020 will offer tuner manufacturers the ability to reduce hardware variants and streamline manufacturing, test and assembly processes. The overall impact to manufacturing efficiency allows module vendors to reduce their time-to-market while lowering costs.

We are proud of the advanced engineering that went into the development of Entropic’s most advanced silicon tuner, said Patrick Henry, chief executive officer of Entropic. The multi-mode design and programmability offer tuner module manufacturers a low cost, flexible solution for a variety of tuner applications suitable for worldwide market adoption.

Hybrid Capability and Industry Leading Performance

Although the worldwide transition from analog to digital continues, the need for supporting legacy analog signals will remain for years to come. Historically, the support of analog and digital signals required two separate tuner modules. However, Entropic’s new EN4020 has been developed with hybrid analog and digital support offering the ability to accommodate legacy analog broadcasting applications while servicing the requirements of emerging digital markets. By providing hybrid support in a single programmable device, the EN4020 will eliminate the need for a separate analog tuner and reduces both the cost and the size of hybrid tuner modules.

The EN4020 boasts strong performance in sensitivity and linearity for over-the-air (OTA) and cable TV (CATV) applications. The extended dynamic range of the EN4020 with maximum input power handling of +8dBm is well suited for OTA environments. The new EN4020’s industry leading Noise Figure of 4.0dB provides excellent sensitivity and delivers improved picture quality. Further, the chip’s designed filtering capability offers significantly improved adjacent channel performance characteristics over those of traditional discrete tuner implementations, thereby improving picture quality under high interference conditions.

The EN4020 will allow it to meet the requirements of cable operators for the design of next generation set-top boxes (STBs) capable of delivering digital video to pay-TV subscribers. The EN4020 silicon tuner includes Entropic’s patented AdaptiveTune technology that allows key characteristics of the tuner to be programmed via software to optimize front-end performance for different environmental conditions. The AdaptiveTune feature has proven advantages in digital cable networks where excessive interference from legacy analog signals and terrestrial signal leakage can degrade picture quality. The EN4020 contains all front-end functions and requires no external SAW filters or amplifiers.