The R820T2 is the tuner chip used on most RTL-SDR dongles. It is also used on the Airspy, a more advanced higher end SDR. All in all, it is a very good tuner chip, but it is mostly limited by the low-bit ADC on the RTL2832U chip in the RTL-SDR.
We’ve just been informed that there is now a custom DIY breakout board available for the R820T chip which is made by Eric Brombaugh who is an SDR experimenter. This is great for those wishing to do home brew SDR experiments with the R820T2 chip, for example you could perhaps implement your own SDR with a higher end ADC chip on a development boards.
The breakout board is essentially the exact implementation which is shown in the R820T datasheet. It is available as a 4-layer PCB on Osh Park and it “provides a simple 4-pin interface with power, ground and I2C bus for controlling the tuner. A broad-band RF input and 10MHz IF output are provided on SMA connectors.” Eric has also provided us with a simplified driver based on the Airspy and Linux media driver code which allows you to control the R820T2 from an STM32F0xx processor.