New Digital Television-on-Chip Enables OEMs to Deliver NTIA Coupon-Eligible Converter Boxes that Extend the Lives of Millions of Analog-Only Televisions in the U.S.
IRVINE, Calif. -- Aug 20, 2007 -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced a complete digital television receiver system targeted at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) digital-to-analog converter box program. The program, which is part of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiative, includes a budget of $1.5 billion that will be used to assist U.S. households in making an affordable transition from existing analog televisions to digital by providing coupons to households to defray the cost of digital TV converter boxes. Broadcom has introduced a turnkey digital television-on-chip (TVoC) and associated software to enable these digital-to-analog converter boxes, extending the lives of analog-only TVs.
As written in the Department of Commerce's Federal Register, dated March 15, 2007, the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 (the Act) directs the FCC to require full-power television stations to cease analog broadcasting and to only broadcast digital transmissions after February 17, 2009. As a result, televisions that receive over-the-air broadcasts through rabbit ear antennas will no longer work after February 17, 2009. At that point, the analog television spectrum will be freed up for public safety initiatives and will be auctioned off by the U.S. government for such applications as wireless networking.
For those consumers who want to continue receiving broadcast programming over-the-air using analog-only televisions not connected to cable or satellite service, a small digital-to-analog converter box will be required. These converter boxes are expected to be available in early 2008, at which time the NTIA has been authorized to create a digital-to-analog converter box assistance program for eligible households. As a result, the NTIA will provide two $40 discount coupons per household that consumers can redeem directly from retailers for these NTIA-qualified digital converter boxes. There is a total of 33.5 million coupons budgeted for the program, which begins January 1, 2008 and concludes on March 31, 2009.
Announced today is the Broadcom® BCM3543 ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) receiver designed to receive ATSC high definition television (HDTV) broadcasts and convert them to NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) signals. Utilizing 65 nanometer process technology, the BCM3543 is a highly integrated, low power digital TVoC receiver that provides superior ATSC signal reception targeted at the NTIA's coupon-eligible "analog switch-off" converter box program. The BCM3543 features on-chip support to convert all ATSC standard and high definition inputs to 480i output formats for display on analog TVs.
"Broadcom is very excited to support the transition from analog-to-digital broadcasting by enabling our OEM partners to produce and quickly deliver digital-to-analog converter boxes as part of the NTIA coupon program," said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Business Group. "With the introduction of the BCM3543 ATSC receiver, Broadcom continues its leadership in the digital television market and demonstrates its ability to efficiently integrate a wide variety of technologies required to meet the demands of the market."
The BCM3543 converts ATSC signals to NTSC for displaying on analog TVs and features key system functionality that includes Channel 3 or 4 radio frequency modulated output, EIA/CEA-909 smart antenna support, and keypad and remote control support. This extensive level of support reduces the complexity and system cost associated with the design of NTIA-eligible converter boxes. The BCM3543 is also supported by an extensive hardware and software reference design that simplifies and minimizes the design and development process for Broadcom's OEM partners.
Compatible with an ATSC antenna design available exclusively from Broadcom, the BCM3543's antenna provides a high performance indoor solution that only requires a single cable interface, eliminating difficult and costly outdoor installations. The antenna control is seamlessly integrated into the BCM3543's user interface eliminating the need for consumers to have to manually adjust the antenna position in order to receive optimal signalreception.
The key features of the BCM3543 ATSC receiver include:
- An integrated 8/16-VSB digital terrestrial receiver
- An EIA/CEA 909-compliant smart antenna controller
- An ATSC-compliant, all-format MP@HL MPEG-2 high definition video decoder
- A Channel 3-4 modulator
- A Dolby® Digital and MPEG audio decoder
- High quality video scaling
- A picture enhancement processor
- A 200 MHz MIPS32® CPU
- A 32-bit 200 MHz DDR-DRAM controller
65 Nanometer Process Technology
The 65 nanometer (nm) process is the most advanced lithographic node for manufacturing semiconductors in large volumes today and provides significant benefits over 90 nm and 130 nm processes by enabling lower power consumption, smaller size and higher levels of integration. For Broadcom, the move to 65 nanometer process technology is changing the competitive landscape because of the breadth and depth of the communications intellectual property the company possesses. Without a broad portfolio of market-leading solutions to integrate, competitors are not able to take full advantage of the benefits that these next-generation processes provide. Broadcom's vast communications intellectual property for transporting voice, video and data at home, work and on-the-go are helping to offer customers and service providers with a truly seamless communications experience for end users worldwide.
Availability and Pricing
The 65 nanometer BCM3543 ATSC receiver is now sampling to early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.
About Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group
Broadcom offers manufacturers a range of broadband communications and consumer electronics SoC's that enable voice, video and data services over residential wired and wireless networks. These highly integrated silicon solutions continue to enable the most advanced system solutions on the market, which include digital cable, satellite and IP set-top boxes and media servers, broadband modems and residential gateways, high definition and digital televisions, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ players, DVD recorders and personal video recorders.
Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art, system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.
Broadcom is one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2006 revenue of $3.67 billion, and holds over 2,200 U.S. and 900 foreign patents, more than 6,600 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video and data. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5900 or at http://www.broadcom.com.