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New set-top box IC family enables more value-added services for entry-level equipment

March 21, 2012 | Paul Buckley | 222904319
STMicroelectronics has revealed the company’s range of set-top box system-on-chip ICs for HD terrestrial, cable IP and satellite equipment providing platform for operators and retailers to deliver innovative Internet-based services in price-sensitive markets.
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Manufactured in 40nm process technology, the heart of STs new family is an enhanced processing engine with integrated on-chip features that simplify set-top-box design, enable operators to take advantage of lower-cost memories and meet the latest low-power objectives. The chips will broaden market access to HD zappers, Personal Video Recorders (PVR), Internet Protocol (IP) clients and dual-HD boxes supporting connected-TV services such as Internet Protocol television (IPTV), information channels and Over-The-Top (OTT) video, gaming, catch-up TV and social networking. Together, the features will enable operators to win extra subscribers and grow revenues while similarly helping retailers to offer richer features in their set-top boxes.

The new devices address the rising consumption in emerging economies and tough economic conditions in developed markets, which each present more challenging growth opportunities for operators and retailers who can deploy innovative IP-based services with cost effective solutions.

Connected television is bringing todays best Internet and multimedia experiences into the living room, and our new family of decoders aims to make these features accessible to a much larger audience, said Laurent Remont, Group Vice President and General Manager of STs Connected Home Division. This latest family of products is fully compatible among all, Satellite, Cable, IPTV and Terrestrial derivatives. In addition, the new devices build on our current, successful portfolio for entry- and mid-level equipment, delivering advantages such as high-quality Faroudja video, 3DTV support, connectivity, and advanced security schemes with all the latest CAS support such as NSK2 or NOCS3.

The new devices support the full range of HD broadcast and multimedia codecs, hybrid and IP standards, the latest security and content protection standards, and important middleware stacks from the leading providers. All devices deliver green features such as the latest generation of energy-efficient Ethernet and a 0.5 W stand-by mode with fast-resume capability. Code-compatible with the widely-used STi7105, the new devices facilitate rapid porting of existing software, permitting customers to upgrade their product platforms with minimal development costs.

The new devices also enhance flexibility for equipment manufacturers and save cost for operators through pin compatibility between two decoder-only chips and their associated packages that combine the decoder with a cable, satellite or terrestrial demodulator. This enables designers to create products for various market sectors taking advantage of extensive hardware commonality to save costs and lead times.

Members of the new family include:

The STiH207 decoder is ideal for IP client, zapper and PVR applications;

STiH237 features an integrated DVB-S2 (Digital Video Broadcast-Satellite 2) demodulator and suits satellite zapper boxes;

STiH239 integrates a dual DVB-S2 demodulator for satellite PVR and dual HD picture-in-picture set-top boxes;

STiH273/STiH223 includes DVB-T (digital-terrestrial) and DVB-C (digital-cable) annex A/B/C demodulation;

The STiH207 decoder, which adds support for1080p60 decoding, dual HD Picture in Picture (PIP) and 3DTV MVC (Multiview Video Codec), is pin compatible with the STiH239, STiH237, or the STiH273.

The STiH207, STiH237, STiH239 and STiH273 are sampling now to lead customers, in 27 x 27 mm BGA packages.

Visit STMicroelectronics at www.st.com

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