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Marvell gears up for 4K revolution

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video? 4K? set-top boxes?

Why security is important

While meeting all the emerging requirements noted above, Marvell hopes to differentiate itself with the security features on its SoC. The hard reality facing a lot of operators today is that they have no control over where consumers source content. While enjoying premium HD content from pay-TV services, consumers can access Google Play, install apps, and download what they want to watch.

If operators wish to combine all services (OTT content and premium pay content) on an open platform, they need to ensure that there is a strong security engine that supports a trusted rendering path and TrustZone. "We've worked closely with operators, and we offer ironclad security solutions," Silva says. To offer secure content delivery, the new SoC supports a broad portfolio of DRM.

When chip vendors who used to lead the TV SoC market C such as NXP, Trident, Zoran and others C began to disappear from the market, those expected to fare best in tackling the set-top and TV segment are mobile chip vendors, such as MediaTek, Qualcomm, and NVidia. All these competitors are looking to leverage their mobile SoC experience in the TV market.

Is Marvell taking advantage of its mobile SoC experience for its ARMADA family of video platform SoCs? "Not necessarily. Video processing and the level of security used inside our SoCs are squarely rooted in our own TV and set-top operations." That said, the new SoC is taking advantage of what Marvell has learned in power management for Mobile SoC running at the Giga-Hertz speed. "We are scaling frequency and carefully controlling which blocks on the SoC should be in operation or put to sleep," he explained. Power management is essential to keep the size of a set-top box small. The SoC, while running at five watts at maximum, typically runs at two to three watts in a standby mode enabled at 50mW.

Marvell isn't disclosing the price of the ARMADA 1500 Pro 4K. Silva, however, says that it's critical to deliver "a perfect blend of components [in the SoC] at the price point" that operators want. The Marvell's new SoC is built by using a 40nm process technology, "which hits the right price point," he added.

ARMADA 1500 Pro 4K

Inside look at the ARMADA 1500 PRO Quad-core 4K Ultra HD SoC. Source: Marvell

- Junko Yoshida
??EE Times

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