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3D graphics zoom in on HDTVs

Posted: 30 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D graphics? interface? GPU? HDTV?

STMicroelectronics NV has disclosed its vision for the development of advanced user interfaces employing advanced 3D graphics for high-definition (HD) TV.

The company used the Consumer Electronics Show 2009 in Las Vegas to outline the advanced graphics capabilities of its HD portfolio of STB and digital TV platforms, in addition to providing a first glimpse into its plans for full 3D graphics technologies in its next-generation HDTV video decoder products.

The graphical user interfaces offered by today's STBs and digital TVs are primarily static and two dimensional, and generally do not provide the level of performance demanded by the new and emerging Web-based interactive services increasingly being offered by broadcasters, operators and service providers. These new services will require a new breed of STB and TV user interfaces, based on advanced graphics technologies.

ST already offers broadcasters, operators, and STB and digital TV manufacturers advanced 3D graphics effects within its latest HD video consumer platforms. Based on its latest generation of HD STBS processors, including the STi7105, STi7111 and the recently announced STi7141, together with advanced software libraries, these digital consumer TV platforms from ST offer advanced 3D graphic acceleration capabilities for a new generation of user interfaces, enabling: 3D dynamic effects, such as transparency, mirroring, rotation and zoom-in and zoom-out; graphical compositions, or animations, combined with live HD video pictures; and HD-resolution dynamic 3D-looking user interfaces.

"HDTV is now the standard in this market, and 3D graphics technology at high-definition resolution has an increasingly important role to play in further heightening the entertainment experience for consumers," said Laurent Remont, advanced system architecture director, home entertainment and displays group, ST.

Tapping multicore GPU
In addition, ST also announced plans for its next-generation of STB and digital HDTV application platforms with the licensing of the ARM Mali-400 MP multicore scalable GPU technology to meet the growing demand for superior graphics on increasing screen resolutions in home entertainment products.

ST has licensed the technology from ARM to integrate further enhanced HD resolution graphics capabilities into next-generation STB and TV processors by providing acceleration for full 'immersive' polygonal 3D and vector graphics to deliver the seamless composition of graphics and video for the best possible user experience from the next wave of Web-based interactive services.

"STMicroelectronics is a proven leader in the digital set-top-box and HDTV industry and a longstanding partner of ARM," said Lance Howarth, vice president and general manager, Media Processing Division, ARM. "By working closely to define the GPU architecture of the future, we are together shaping how consumers will interact with their choice of screen-based devices."

ST's STi7105, STi7111 and STi7141 based STB and digital TV platforms, which take full advantage of an OpenGL-ES 1.1 subset 3D-graphics application programming interface, are sampling now to lead customers. Samples of ST's next-generation HDTV products implementing the ARM Mali graphics processor, compliant with the OpenGL ES 2.0 interface standard, are planned for later this year.

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