Advanced high definition decoder improves consumer equipment security and connectivity
Geneva, October 31, 2005 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), the world’s leading supplier of ICs for Set Top Boxes (STBs)*, announced today the STB7109, the company’s second-generation high-definition AVC and VC-1 decoder. Building on the success of the STB7100, the world’s first single-chip AVC and VC-1 decoder launched in January 2005, the STB7109 includes all the features of that device with the addition of improved security, connectivity features and support for emerging DVD format and security standards.
By taking advantage of the greater compression ratios provided by AVC and VC-1, high definition content can be encoded, broadcast and distributed around the home much more efficiently than has been possible with MPEG-2 material. To support this, the STB7109 embeds a high speed Ethernet interface, enabling it to be a central part of the home network in appliances such as cable, satellite, IP and terrestrial STBs, DVRs, DVD players and recorders, home gateways and media servers. For sophisticated consumer devices with a requirement to support two high definition displays, the STB7109 includes a dedicated high speed interface to gluelessly connect two devices together. Additional connectivity options are provided by a serial ATA (SATA) interface and a USB2.0 host port.
“As the complexity of today’s system on chip devices increases and the process geometries become smaller, SoC designers and manufacturers must cooperate ever more closely in order to succeed,” said Christos Lagomichos, Group Vice-President and General Manager of ST’s Home Entertainment Group. “ST is uniquely positioned in this respect as the only supplier of advanced video decoders to have both design and fabrication capability in house.”
To protect valuable content and services, the STB7109 includes ST’s fourth generation security technology enabling flexible systems backed by hardware chains of trust. This enables the STB7109 to support Windows Media DRM 10 and the Secure Video Processor (SVP) standards both of which allow digital rights to be passed between consumer devices. Secure connectivity is provided through a High bandwidth Digital Media Interface (HDMI) and High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP) interface, both of which are required to connect consumer appliances to today’s high-definition displays.
“SVP is an open standard which allows content to be protected, maintaining the usage rights throughout the distribution chain,” said Beth Erez, Chairperson SVP Alliance. “By including SVP in the STB7109, ST has ensured that content is available throughout the home network from the home server to the DVD.”
The STB7109 meets today’s requirements for both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray high definition DVD by supporting all the required video and audio standards and current and emerging copy protection technology, allowing manufacturers to build a single hardware design to address both markets.
Embedded within the STB7109 is a powerful ST40 CPU, which provides 400 Dhrystone 2.1 MIPS and is supported by industry standard operating systems such as Microsoft Windows CE, Linux and OS21. ST also provides a suite of robust, integrated STAPI software drivers. A state-of-the-art set of development tools and evaluation boards complete the STB7109 development kit.
“By delivering software and development platforms simultaneously with first silicon samples our customers can bring products to market with minimum lead time,” added Lagomichos.
The STB7109 is available now in sample quantities in a 35 x 35 PBGA package and costs $26 when purchased in large volumes. Volume production is planned for Q1 2006.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2004, the Company's net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
* MPEG Video ICs: The Buzz Around MPEG-4 AVC. Instat June 2005