Pro Brand taps MaxLinear SoC for next-gen satellite units

Michelle Clancy | 22-01-2014

Pro Brand International (PBI) is developing a next-generation direct broadcast satellite digital outdoor unit (D-ODU) using MaxLinear's MxL865 Full-Spectrum Capture system on chip (SoC).

PBI said that it chose MxL865 for its low power consumption feature, which is one the major aspects for commercial viability of high-density channel-stacking D-ODUs.

"Digital ODUs enable a new range of satellite services," said Brian Sprague, vice president and general manager at MaxLinear. "MaxLinear's MxL86x SoC family has significantly higher levels of integration and lower power draw, which vastly simplifies ODU installation compared to legacy analogue ODUs in the market. The MxL86x SoC family is ideally suited to help satellite operators with the transition from analogue to digital ODU."

MxL865 supports 24 channels over a single cable, thus eliminating some of the complexities associated with connecting the indoor set-top boxes/gateways with rooftop LNBs and other related multi-dwelling unit switches. The device features five FSC inputs and single L-band IF outputs to enable bandwidth capture up to 10 GHz.

"Developing this D-ODU is vital to PBI because our operator customers want to deliver an increasing number of channels to the home, which cannot be supported in a cost-effective manner with analogue roof-top equipment," said Jim Crownover, CEO at Pro Brand. "The MxL865 dramatically simplified the design of the D-ODU and helped us get to market quickly with a performance leading solution, which was one of our key criteria for vendor selection."

MxL865 is also capable of integrating various CPU microcontrollers, DiSEqC modems and FSK, as well as power management controllers to integrate analogue functions. This includes RF gain blocks, broadband input and output filters, PLLs, channel filters and automatic gain control (AGC) circuitry.