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iDTV SoC backs next-gen HD video standard

Posted: 01 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iDTV? HD video standard? H.264?


NEC has started shipments of the samples of EMMATM3TL, a new SoC intended for full high-definition (HD) iDTV supporting the H.264/AVC next-generation video compression standard.

EMMA3TL is an image-processing SoC incorporating all the capacities necessary for digital TV on a single chip such as graphics and audio/video decoding. It has a circuit that enhances the EMMA2TH/H, providing to show high-resolution video as well as PC content. It minimizes the PCB area by decreasing the components needed to implement a full-HD system from nine to one.

The new SoC has HD MPEG2 and MPEG4 AVC (H.264) decoder permitting it to make broadcast signals which accommodate any major global standard as it supports the DVB system used in Europe, the ARIB system used in Japan, and the ATSC system used in North America.

Cost reduction
The new device helps designers to create iDTV for global markets offered at reduced cost.

Next month, NEC will start giving out design information for a reference board for the new product. It will have sample shipments of EMMA2TL SoC for DTVs supporting MPEG full HD. Using EMMA3TL and EMMA2TL compatible pin layouts and software, this will provide the users the chance to choose the product needed to the broadcast format, minimizing production costs and software-development period by employing a PCB that may be suitable for all developments.

NEC has named semiconductors for digital audiovisual products as a key business field, and is actively working to expand the business. Since the introduction of the EMMA series, an A/V decoder and image-processing SoC for STBs with digital broadcast receivers in 1998, the company is creating new EMMA products in three fields: STBs, DTVs and DVD recorders, having a strong reputation in the market. As a result, the company had net EMMA sales of $360 million in fiscal 2007, and expects them to achieve $450 million in fiscal 2008.

EMMATM3TL reference board

What lies ahead
The market for full-HD digital TVs, which have a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution is now very strong, and NEC released EMMA2TH/H for full-HD iDTV in Q3 08. From the adoption of the H.264/AVC broadcast standard in Europe, the company also introduced the EMMA3SV with H.264/AVC compatibility in the same period. The sliding prices of digital TVs, however, resulted in demand from TV vendors to use the product features into a single chip to lower system costs.

The new product enhances the capacity of each of the EMMA2TH/H circuits and incorporates the external I/O circuits including a video A/D decoder, audio A/D decoder, A/D multiplex decoder, and an HDMI receiver, and the H.264/AVC codec made after the release of the EMMA3SV, all on a single chip.

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