Harris Makes Chip Deal With Freescale

Will deploy technology in UHF transmitters.

Broadcast equipment giant Harris has struck a deal with Austin, Tex.-based Freescale Semiconductor to integrate its embedded semiconductor technology into its new UHF terrestrial TV transmitters.

 Harris says that using Freescale’s laterally diffused MOS (LDMOS) UHF technology will allow it produced its most compact and power-efficient UHF transmitters to date, as Freescale’s advanced chip design is engineered to provide a dramatic increase in device power. Harris and Freescale engineers have collaborated on the development process for months, testing the interoperability of the two platforms and revising the products as needed.

 “Freescale Semiconductor’s LDMOS technology allows us to take advantage of off-the-shelf technology that ultimately helps us improve efficiency and provides an exceptionally compact solution,” said Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications, in a statement. “This drives down long-term cost of ownership, and creates a new value proposition for Harris that will be passed along to our customers. Our strategic efforts with Freescale have resulted in a change in our approach to the manufacturing process, producing a far more efficient range of TV transmitters that allows us to stay competitive in the marketplace, while retaining the superior quality that is a hallmark of Harris TV transmitters.”

 The deal with Freescale is another example of how computer chip technology is changing the transmission equipment business. Earlier this year, Harris introduced a new software-based digital exciter, the Apex, which can be programmed to support a variety of transmission schemes, including both the ATSC and DVB digital television systems as well as mobile TV applications.