Mobile Digital TV Antenna Diversity for Indoor and In-Vehicle Reception

Understanding how diversity antenna systems work, and how Mobile Digital TV viewing can be improved through the use of multiple antennae — even for space-constrained portable devices, and for in-vehicle and deep-indoor reception.

By Roy Oren, CTO, Siano Mobile Silicon

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Video/Imaging DesignWire
(10/5/2009 4:00:47 AM)

The attractiveness of diversity in the case of consumer, battery-powered, mobile DTV devices depends on being able to meet some important commercial limitations. First, the overall power consumption of the receiver array must be sufficiently low to allow long-time viewing without having to re-charge the battery. Second, the small form-factor of most mobile devices implies strong size limitations. Third, in consumer devices price plays a major role in the decision making of the end user, thus the entire diversity solution must be cost effective.

Siano’s SMS1130- based diversity solution offers extremely good sensitivity, and excellent mobility at a total power consumption of 360mW. In addition to DVB-T this solution also supports DVB-H, ISDB-T and T-DMB. This solution may be dynamically configured to enable viewing of two channels at the same time or a diversity receiver for a single DVB-T channel.

Figure 5: Siano’s two way DVB-T diversity reference board based on two SMS1130 chips.

Siano’s SMS1230-based solution for diversity is a more cost-effective and consumes less power, but does not enable viewing of two different channels at the same time. The solution is based on the SMS1230 integrated receiver chip, which is a high-end multi-standard receiver (tuner plus demodulator), in conjunction with the SMS1205, which is a diversity companion chip of the SMS1230.

Figure 6: Diversity EVB based on Siano’s SMS1230 receiver with the SMS1205 diversity companion.

The entire solution consumes less than 300mW in diversity mode (175mW in single antenna mode). As can be seen in Figure 6, only one receiver (that has a built-in tuner – one tuner) is used. Thus, the overall cost of the solution is by far the lowest in the market at this time.
The high level integration of the SMS1230 results in eliminating the need for external components such as LNA (Low Noise Amplifier), BALUN (BALance to UN-balanced matching), etc.

Another example is Siano’s 1180 which is a single chip solution to support CMMB two-way diversity reception. This chip supports both UHF and S-band.

Figure 7: Diversity in a single chip using Siano’s 1180 receiver.

Antenna diversity represents the cornerstone for successful MDTV rollout and consumer adoption.  Strong signal reception will ultimately determine a good end-user experience – characterized by the adaptability and breadth of mobile TV enabled multi-media devices.  Without antenna diversity – indoor reception and in-vehicle mobile TV viewing will not be of high enough performance to provide an uninterrupted high quality service, which ultimately underpins the very success of the anywhere, anytime mobile TV viewing experience.

About the author:
Roy Oren is Chief Technology Officer for Siano. Mr. Oren joined Siano in October 2004 and served as Architecture and Algorithms manager. He assumed his current position in October 2007. From 2000 to 2004 Mr. Oren held key engineering positions in Tioga Technologies – a fabless semiconductor company which was later acquired by STMicroelectronics – developing xDSL and broadband aggregation chips. As part of his responsibilities, he served as a systems expert in charge of system design for DSL product line, and managed a DSL development project. Mr. Oren also served as Algorithm team leader at Orckit Communications – a leading provider of digital subscriber line (DSL) solutions. From 1994 to 2000, Mr. Oren served as an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, where he developed and managed a wide range of high-technology projects in computing and telecommunications. Mr. Oren holds a B.S.E.E Cum Laude from the Technion – Israel’s Institute of Technology and an M.S.E.E from Tel Aviv University.

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