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Platform streamlines design of LCD DTVs

Posted: 19 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IDTV design? integrated DTV? LCD DTV? MPEG-2? NOR flash?

IDTV platform

Toshiba Electronics Europe has released a reference design platform optimized for integrated DTV (IDTV) designs, combining the hardware functions and interfaces required for an LCD TV with Aurora middleware by Cabot Communications enabling a feature-rich digital media solution.

The new reference design combines an ALPS tuner and front-end with single-stream standard definition decoding as well as the sound interface, AV interfaces to matrix switch, colour-decoder and scaler functions required to support the functions of an LCD-TV system. These functions combine with the capabilities of Toshiba's Donau-LC SoC for consumer digital media applications.

Developers can also take advantage of integrated solutions to powerful-but-expected features of modern LCD IDTVs, including Dolby ProLogic, Virtual Dolby, SRS True Surround and Common Interface, IDE interface for PVR support and USB2.0 host.

The platform is built around the TC90408FG Donau-LC digital media SoC, which combines Toshiba's Media embedded Processor (MeP) architecture with the Toshiba TX49 L3 64bit embedded RISC processor with unified file system as host. It provides a four-plane video and graphics engine capable of progressive scan conversion with pixel-accurate on-screen display (OSD) at panel resolutions up to 1,080p (Full-HD panels).

The MeP modules support dual-stream MPEG-2 video decoding as well as three-stream audio decoding to AAC, MPEG and AC-3 standards, allowing developers to quickly implement differentiating features such as audio description or bilingual audio decoding. All necessary emodulation circuitry, interfaces and controllers are also integrated on-chip, including an on-board COFDM (coded orthogonal frequency division mux) demodulator for DVB-T applications that meets international specifications including ETSI 300 744 (DVB-T), NORDIG-II, NORDIG-Unified and DTG.

The reference platform is offered complete with an optimized PCB design, enabling a compact solution capable of supporting up to 64Mbyte DRAM and up to 16Mbyte NOR flash.

The Aurora XT middleware stack meets European-wide DTV standards, country- and region-specific profiles and local receiver specifications, and supports multiple languages, Electronic Program Guides, parental ratings, channel ordering, subtitles and software update mechanisms. At the OS level, the Emerald IDTV reference platform runs on Linux, delivering advantages for developers including a robust and mature kernel, integrated connectivity features and the proven standard Linux file system, as well as royalty free use and the availability of free tool chains.

- Dennis Barker
Digital TV Designline

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