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STB chip brings convergence to TVs

Posted: 13 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video decoder? STB? 3D? HDTV?

STi7108 video decoder

STMicroelectronics delivers a new generation of decoder chips that will enable hybrid Internet/broadcast-TV STBs to deliver enhanced user experiences and allow consumers to experience broadcast, Internet or personal content on the TV, intuitively and at any time.

The STi7108 joins ST's STi710x family of video decoders, and also provide features to support 3D graphics user controls, 3D TV, content protection and connections to external devices.

"The STi7108 is the first in ST's third generation of HD chips that will provide the end user with a really exciting 3D HDTV user experience, thanks to its unprecedented CPU performance allowing smooth Web experiences," said Philippe Lambinet, executive VP for the home entertainment and displays group, ST. "It also has market-leading energy efficiency due to its low power configurable architecture, and low power manufacturing process."

The new STi7108 has dual ST40-300 CPU host processors linked to a 256K L2 cache giving up to 2,000 DMIPS performance and a total of 4,000 DMIPs for flexible support of demanding A/V, security and connectively applications. A 3D graphics engine enables a new class of user interfaces, supports innovations such as 3D Electronic Program Guide, and enables advanced Internet content and high-performance gaming on the STB. It is the first STB IC in the market to combine 3D graphics, Ethernet, USB and e-SATA interfaces to connect Internet devices, DVR storage or external Flash or HDDs.

The STi7108 uses the ARM Mali-400 graphics processor, the only embedded graphics processor which has demonstrated compliance with the Khronos OpenGL ES 2.0 specifications at HD resolutions, to deliver a powerful 3D experience.

"The STi7108 builds on the broad collaboration between STMicroelectronics and ARM on high-performance graphics-processor architectures," said Lance Howarth, general manager and EVP, ARM media processing division, "The ARM Mali-400 graphics processor opens up new levels of user experience enabling STMicroelectronics to provide compelling 3D gaming and rich 3D user interfaces at 1,080p resolution, as well as delivering a seamless composition of graphics and video for the next wave of web-based interactive services."

The STi7108 is able to decode video in industry-standard formats, including H.264, MPEG2, VC-1 or WMV9 Internet video, and MPEG4 part 2, up to HD resolutions 1,080p 50/60 simultaneously with 1080i/720p picture-in-picture or mosaic formats. The device has flexible memory-interface options offering dual 32-/16bit LMI DDR2/DDR3 at 1,066MHz.

The device provides inputs for up to six transport streams, and provides full-motion HD 3DTV over HDMI 1.3 with HDCP copy protection. Support for content sharing, according to the Digital Living Network Alliance specification, will also allow use in next-generation Blu-ray and HD media players.

Together with other integrated processors, including an audio processing subsystem and 2D-graphics handling, the STi7108 allows a significant leap in performance over products currently in mass production, thereby providing increased scope for STB designers to create multimedia value-added features and services to differentiate their products in the marketplace.

Volume production is scheduled to start early in 2010.





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