The DOCSIS 3.0 specifications enable cable modems to achieve unprecedented uplink and downlink data rates, and it comes not a moment too soon. The growing market strength of telecommunications service providers’ fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services is mounting a significant threat to cable operators, and the race is on to achieve DOCSIS 3.0-network class speeds.

One of the top priorities in this race is the need for a wideband tuner that can handle the wide intermediate frequency (IF) bandwidth employed in DOCSIS 3.0 and that can deliver the performance necessary to achieve reliable data rates. This paper introduces a single-chip silicon tuner now available to meet this challenge: the new MicroTuner MT2170 wideband solution from Microtune.

The paper first describes the evolution of the DOCSIS specifications, including how their emergence was the result of specific market forces; it then discusses technical challenges that DOCSIS poses and how tuners like the MicroTuner MT2170 can help cable modem manufacturers and service providers to meet those challenges.