DBS Direct Downconverter

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The MAX2106 low-cost, direct-conversion tuner IC is designed for use in digital direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) television set-top box units and is a pin-for-pin upgrade for the MAX2104. Its direct-conversion architecture reduces system cost compared to devices with IF-based architectures. The MAX2106 directly tunes L-band signals to baseband using a broadband I/Q downconverter. The operating frequency range spans 925MHz to 2175MHz.

The IC includes a low-noise amplifier (LNA) with gain control, I and Q downconverting mixers, lowpass filters with gain and frequency control, a local oscillator (LO) buffer with a 90° quadrature network, and a charge-pump-based phase-locked loop (PLL) for frequency control. The MAX2106 has an on-chip LO, requiring only an external varactor-tuned LC tank for operation. The LO's output drives the internal quadrature generator and has a buffer amplifier to drive off-chip circuitry. The MAX2106 comes in a 48-pin thin quad flat-pack package with exposed paddle (EP).

Advantages Over MAX2104
  • Improved Front End Achieves 10.2dB NF at 1550MHz
  • Higher Input IIP3: 11.5dBm at 1550MHz
  • Reduced Spurious Downconversion Products
  • Capable of Using an External Synthesizer

Key Features

  • Drop-In Replacement for MAX2104 Designs:
    • Requires Only Minor Software Upgrade and
    • Two External Resistor Value Changes
  • Complete Low-Cost Solution for DBS Direct Downconversion
  • High Level of Integration Minimizes Component Count
  • 1MBaud to 45MBaud Operation
  • Selectable LO Buffer
  • +5V Single-Supply Operation
  • 925MHz to 2175MHz Input Frequency Range
  • On-Chip Quadrature Generator, Dual-Modulus Prescaler (/32, /33)
  • On-Chip Crystal Oscillator Amplifier
  • PLL Phase Detector with Gain-Controlled Charge Pump
  • Input Levels: -25dBm to -68dBm per Carrier
  • Over 50dB Gain Control Range
  • Noise Figure = 10.2dB; IIP3 = +11.5dBm (at 1550MHz)
  • Automatic Baseband Offset Correction


  • Broadband Systems
  • Cell Phone Base Stations
  • European DVB-Compliant Systems
  • LMDS
  • Microwave Links
  • Professional Receivers
  • U.S. DSS Set-Top Receivers
  • VSAT
  • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)

Technical Documents

Tutorial 5100 General Layout Guidelines for RF and Mixed-Signal PCBs
Request Reliability Report for: MAX2106 
Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C   Material Composition  

Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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Related Resources

Ultra-Wideband, Direct-Conversion, L-Band Satellite Tuner

  • 925MHz to 2175MHz Frequency Range
  • Monolithic VCO
  • High Dynamic Range: -75dBm to 0dBm