Faster broadband amplifiers

17 February 2009

High-speed multimedia networking

As consumers and business users demand ever-higher Internet and networking speeds, STMicroelectronics has introduced a new broadband signal amplifier IC that supports higher frequencies and faster response, as well as lower noise, than amplifiers used in current equipment.

ST’s new TS617 supports up to 200 MHz operation, which will satisfy faster broadband services such as 24 Mbit/s ADSL2+, and VDSL offering up to 100 Mbit/s download and upload speeds. The TS617 is also optimised for use in broadband powerline networking using standards such as HomePlug 1.0 and HomePlugAV. HomePlugAV is a new standard developed by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, which will allow home entertainment devices to share internet and TV, audio and video using AC mains wiring instead of dedicated network cables. As part of this evolution, ST recently announced an agreement with Arkados to develop a system-on-chip implementing a complete HomePlugAV wideband powerline modem.

In the TS617, there are two amplifiers, which allow engineers to connect a HomePlugAV module to the power line using a single TS617. The amplifiers achieve very low noise to maintain signal integrity even at very high frequencies. Another performance highlight is the very high slew rate, enabling fast response to the rapid rise and fall times of high-speed data signals.

The TS617 also implements an on-chip power-control block, to meet increasingly stringent demands for power savings in consumer and business equipment. The amplifiers stabilise within only one microsecond (guaranteed by test) after entering or quitting power-down. This increases power savings by allowing the device to spend longer in the low-power mode. When powered-down, the TS617 prevents interference from being put back onto the data input lines. This enables other equipment connected to the network to perform optimally at high speeds. By operating from either a 5 V or 12 V supply, the TS617 can be used in PC-powered products or equipment with an independent power supply.

As an aid to manufacturers building communications equipment for opportunities such as HomePlugAV and VDSL, ST is testing all production units to minimum and maximum tolerance limits. This assures product manufacturers of reliable performance when building ultra-high-speed broadband networking equipment in high volumes.


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