Interactive gaming consoles, digital TVs, and digital video recorders (DVRs), among other multimedia systems, benefit from higher levels of silicon integration. They achieve greater functionality, lower cost, better performance, and lower power consumption. In the many cases that call for very high-performance signal processing, silicon integration becomes a critical enabler.
All of these multimedia systems have "front ends" containing analog/mixed-signal subsystems for downstream demodulation and upstream modulation, which extensively use ADCs and DACs. Unfortunately, when placing multiple high-speed ADC and DAC chips on pc boards, the capacitances and inductances (i.e., parasitics) present on the pc board and IC packages can severely degrade signal and timing integrity, causing crosstalk and other interference. Achieving the necessary channel-matching and isolation on a pc board for ultra-high-performance applications thus becomes extremely difficult.