Responding to market demand for low power digital home entertainment systems, Freescale Semiconductor introduces its first 3.3 V UHF television radio frequency (RF) modulators based on CMOS technology.

The modulators offer customers cost-effective, low power solutions designed to help shorten design-to-market cycles. They also reduce system requirements for television-related applications including DVD/DVDR players, modules and video games, as well as analog, digital and internet protocol set-top-boxes for satellite, terrestrial or cable television.

"The introduction of our 3.3 V CMOS RF modulators supports high growth applications in the home entertainment consumer business segment worldwide," said Ritu Favre, manager of Freescale's Application Specific Product Operations organization. "We have a track record of providing innovative products in the RF marketplace and will continue to drive our technology toward high performance, value-based solutions."

The MC44CM373 and MC44CM374 devices meet current system application requirements with low component counts and minimal board space. They combine sound sub-carrier and UHF voltage-controlled oscillators in a single-chip solution, thereby enabling designers to implement the RF output function with ease. The modulators do not require tuned components and have few critical RF paths, contributing to a simple layout and easy integration onto the system board.

The parts operate between 460 and 880 MHz, are fully integrated and require no external active components or precision parts. They are extremely versatile and easily controlled by the high speed I2C compatible bus and offer several modes to simplify production testing.

The use of the CMOS technology not only renders exceptional RF performance, but also helps to reduce power consumption and device cost. Both parts are offered in the space-saving plastic SOIC 16-pin package. An evaluation kit consisting of a board populated with the MC44CM373 CMOS modulator along with test software and user manual also is expected to be available.

Two versions of the modulators are available: the MC44CM373, a world standard version supporting PAL/NTSC/SECAM, and the MC44CM374, a PAL/NTSC-only version. Limited VHF functionality is available through the use of selectable internal dividers.

Freescale began producing UHF television RF modulators in 2002 and has continued to invest in low power modulator technology for multiple consumer media applications. Freescale shipped more than 125 million total RF modulator units between 2002 and 2006.

Freescale expects initial sampling for the modulators in May 2007, and production release in July 2007. Suggested OEM pricing for the MC44CM373 is expected to be $1.08 in quantities of 5,000 or greater and $1.00 in quantities of 5,000 or greater for the MC44CM374.