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Trident, ARM tie-up delivers Web-enabled STBs

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STB? platform? Internet? TV?

Trident Microsystems Inc. reports a collaboration with ARM that brings together the key Web 2.0 and broadcast elements onto an STB platform. The company claims the platform enables consumers to view TV programming, run rich Internet applications, browse websites and share content anytime and anywhere in the home. The platform also lets developers and operators target their content offering and services to maximise ARPU and advertising revenue.

This initiative provides system developers with a comprehensive platform to create solutions for Internet-connected STB applications. Trident optimized its ARM-based 45nm broadcast integrated SoC family to take advantage of the ARM Cortex-A9 processor which can enable the streaming of high-bandwidth broadband and broadcast content into homes, while improving power efficiency as compared to other solutions.

With CE products converging, there is a demand for the transparency of content and data sharing across different screen sizes whether at home, in the car or on the move. The ability to reuse the wide software support for the ARM Cortex-A9 processors enables activities currently going on in other segments to be reused in the STB space.

The two companies are also working with Adobe "for ActionScript 3.0 which is used in the Flash Platform and provides the fundamental engine for driving our runtimes in digital home devices," according to Jennifer Carr, senior director, business development at Adobe.

An ecosystem is being developed around the Internet-connected STB. Qt, which runs on the Trident STB (Cortex-A9 processor based) platform, provides a consistent user experience from mobile to home. It includes browser and widgets functionalities which run on top of QtWebKit, and performance optimization work has been done for Qt running on ARM architectures. Qt is also the development framework for MeeGo and the ARM partnership has already done significant work on this platform around the ARM Cortex-A9 processor.

Core runtime and plug in components that power the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home have also been optimized for the ARM Cortex-A9, including ActionScript 3.0 JIT.

HTML5, a new Web 2.0 standard that incorporates features like video playback, has also been optimised for ARM and will be key for next generation Web type services.

The Google Android OS was also designed for the ARM architecture and includes an ARM Native Development Kit (NDK), ARM targeted JIT as part of the Dalvik Java application framework and support for the Adobe Flash Player 10.1 web plugin.

There is also a not-for-profit company called Linaro that focuses on the lower software layers and provides the best tools and Linux development experience on ARM, quickening the time to market for Linux based distributions.

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