Micronas Launches Superior Multi-Standard DTV Demodulators for US HDTVs

FREIBURG, Germany, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Micronas a leading supplier of innovative application-specific IC system solutions for consumer electronics, today announced availability of its highly-anticipated DRX-H family of multi-standard 8VSB/QAM/QPSK/NTSC demodulator products targeting applications in Digital TV-sets, set-top boxes, multimedia-PCs, DVD recorders, PVRs and tuner modules. The feature-rich DRX-H product family delivers superior performance and ATSC compliance in US Digital Television (DTV) applications, while enabling compliance with the "FCC Tuner Mandate". Under the FCC order, TV manufacturers are required to integrate digital receivers into televisions and certain other consumer electronics devices by certain deadlines.

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Based on Micronas' proprietary primeD technology, the DRX-H provides a superior solution to satisfy the increasing market demand for more robust and higher quality DTV reception performance. Signal reflections, commonly referred to as echoes or ghosts create significant reception problems for DTV systems by introducing a time-delayed but otherwise identical signal to the receiver. Echoes can be caused by any obstruction in the signal path like the shape of the terrain, buildings, cars, even airplanes, and are especially prevalent in urban environments. These echoes often reach or exceed the level of the desired signal (so-called 0dB echoes), disrupting reception with most of today's solutions.

As opposed to merely filtering echoes out, primeD technology combines multiple echoes to create a single, stronger signal, resulting in enhanced overall reception quality. Devices employing DRX-H are able to cope with notoriously difficult terrestrial reception situations and provide measurable improvements to the overall DTV experience of consumers. The performance benefits of DRX-H compared with other available solutions are supported by lab and field tests conducted by independent test facilities.

"primeD is based on design work undertaken by a team of US DTV experts, who came to Micronas as part of its May, 2004 acquisition of LINX Electronics, a leader in 8VSB demodulator design," according to Hans-Juergen Desor, Vice President Consumer Products at Micronas. "The LINX acquisition combines LINX DTV expertise with Micronas DVB technology to create a single-chip solution for digital TV."

"Unlike most competitors' implementations, Micronas' DRX-H demodulator does not simply discard undesired echoes but combines them in a unique patented manner with the desired signal which results in superior performance under realistic field conditions. We are approaching theoretical limits of the 8VSB demodulation standard thanks to our unique implementation," said Rich Citta, Chief Scientist of Micronas Semiconductors, Inc., an industry veteran and one of the key architects of the current ATSC DTV standard.

Offering the highest level of integration and performance of any solution on the market today, the DRX-H integrates an ATSC A/53-compliant 8VSB demodulator with an ITU-T J.83 Annex B-compliant QAM demodulator, a high quality NTSC demodulator, and a BTSC decoder, as well as an OOB (Out of Band) QPSK demodulator and OOB Local Oscillator for seamless integration into DCR (Digital Cable Ready) television sets.

The DRX-H is optimized for applications ranging from flat panel HDTVs to highly space-constrained Integrated Tuner/Demodulator (IT/D) modules. All features of the DRX-H are controlled via a standard I2C-interface. The DRX-H includes its own on-chip memory.

Micronas offers four versions of the DRX-H, with tailored functionality and corresponding ASP, in order to deliver the best cost versus feature ratio for different market applications. All are available in a 14x20mm 128 pin QFP package.

The DRX-H solution includes a range of software modules to control the device. All modules share a common API. This allows customers to complete their design and get to production quickly.

"The transition to digital television reception presents new design challenges to our customers. We are committed to supporting them with our DRX-H turnkey solution which will result in improved time to market and superior receiver performance without compromises," said Stefan Szasz, Marketing Manager ATSC at Micronas Semiconductors Inc., San Diego, California.

Samples are available today, with mass production planned for Q3 of 2005.

NOTE: DCR is a trademark of the Consumer Electronics Association ( www.cea.org)

About Micronas

Micronas , a semiconductor designer and manufacturer with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for consumer and automotive electronics. As a market leader in innovative, global TV system solutions, Micronas leverages its expertise into new markets emerging through the digitization of audio and video content. Micronas serves all major consumer brands worldwide, many of them in continuous partnerships seeking joint success. While the holding is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), operational headquarters are based in Freiburg (Germany). Currently, the Micronas Group employs about 1900 people. In 2004, it generated USD 777 million in sales. For more information on Micronas and its products, please visit www.micronas.com.

CONTACT: Anja Maria Hastenrath of embedded PR, +49 89 69760610, or mobile,
+49 171 1959330, or fax, +49 89 69760613, or Email Contact

Web site: http://www.micronas.com/

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