Modular and Configurable PCI-Based Solution Gives Early Adopters a Head Start on Entertainment Gateway Designs and Development for the Home of the Future
SAN JOSE , Calif., September 30, 2002 -- Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC)* today disclosed details of a complete integrated TX49 Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) processor-based reference platform for entertainment home gateway applications. Five leading companies joined with TAEC and cooperated in the development of the reference platform: Lineo, Systemonic, Sigma Designs, Vweb and Wipro Limited. The first demonstration of the reference platform will take place at CEATEC in Japan on October 1, 2002.
"Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) expects the entertainment gateway to be the center of the home of the future. Toshiba's configurable leading-edge reference platform gives developers flexibility and a time-to-market advantage in creating solutions for the emerging entertainment gateway market. A time-to-market advantage is key for those companies who are driving and defining the standards of the future," said Farhad Mafie, vice president of the ASSP Business Unit at TAEC. "Toshiba's highly integrated, high-performance 64-bit TX49 MIPS-based RISC processor is at the heart of this reference platform. The solution includes complete hardware and system-level software, which are integrated and optimized for the best overall system performance. Together with the best-of-breed functionality and support from leading hardware and software players, our entertainment platform provides the most complete, flexible and high-performance solution," he added.
Toshiba's modular and configurable entertainment gateway reference platform incorporates the features and functions needed to build an entertainment gateway or add connectivity to products including televisions, personal computers, digital video recorders, personal video recorders, game consoles, etc. Various configurations are supported and new functions for emerging vertical markets can be added. Integrating both hardware and software on a Linux operating system platform, the entertainment home gateway reference solution includes:
- Toshiba's TX49 64-bit RISC processor, which includes an integrated memory controller, a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) controller, Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitters, timers, a serial peripheral interface, an Audio Codec '97 interface and a triple Data Encryption Standard engine.
- Toshiba's recently announced TC86C001FG companion chip, which supports the PCI interface, the Inter-IC bus, Universal Serial Bus (USB) hosts, USB devices, Integrated Drive Electronics Ultra-DMA mode 4 interface, general parallel input/output (I/O) and serial I/O.
- Sigma Designs' DVD/MPEG-4 decoder with full-screen MPEG-4 playback.
- Systemonic's programmable Tondelayo silicon solution for 802.11a+b W-LAN communication with "detect and connect" capability.
- Vweb's MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codec, MPEG-2 and -4 transcoding on the fly, D1 size (720 x 486 pixels) MPEG-4 and a video streaming engine.
- Lineo and Wipro's communications, virtual private network engine and voice over IP on embedded Linux.
"Existing solutions from competitors fall far short of the flexible, diverse capability that is provided with Toshiba's entertainment gateway platform. Competing single-chip or chipset solutions narrowly target specific end-products and miss important functionality needed in an entertainment center such as 802.11 wireless solutions and support for MPEG streaming video," said Tetsuro Wada, platform development director of the ASSP Business Unit at TAEC. "Our customers can get up to a year's head start on writing software code and access to a complete bill of materials for speedy development. As well, their designs can evolve as their product needs and industry standards change." He added that the platform could be used for other emerging market applications such as an MPEG-4 camera and surveillance system.
While the definition of an entertainment home gateway is still emerging, conceptually, it will serve as the pivotal point between public and home networks. It will connect the public packet network to the residential network. Incoming broadband data may be delivered via cable or DSL modem but in all cases will pass through the entertainment home gateway. Most likely implemented as a single box, the entertainment gateway will route the data, audio and video via a wired or wireless connection to a client product, such as a telephone, PC, TV, VCR or game console. The gateway server is also responsible for secure routing and switching, including content protection.
TAEC will make the entertainment reference platform available to customers at no cost upon request starting in the third quarter of 2002. Interested customers should contact TAEC directly.
Combining quality and flexibility with design engineering expertise, TAEC brings a breadth of advanced, next-generation technologies to its customers. This broad offering includes semiconductors, flash memory-based storage solutions, optical communication devices, displays and rechargeable batteries for the computing, wireless, networking, automotive and digital consumer markets.
TAEC is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba, the second largest semiconductor company worldwide in terms of global sales for the year 2001 according to Gartner/Dataquest's Worldwide Semiconductor Market Share Ranking. Toshiba is a world leader in high-technology products with more than 300 major subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. For additional company and product information, please visit TAEC's web site at gateway.toshiba.com. For technical inquiries, please e-mail Tech.Questions@taec.toshiba.com.
TOSHIBA ENTERTAINMENT GATEWAY PRESS RELEASE ADDENDUM
Supporting Quotes from Cooperating Companies
"We are very excited to be a central part of the Linux home convergence market," said Sekhar Kondepudi, general manager of Lineo/Embedix's Residential Gateway and Digital TV division. "The integration of multimedia with high-speed wireless technologies will enable a whole new paradigm in the fast moving world of video and entertainment by incorporating mobility. Working closely with our software partner Wipro and with leading hardware players, such as Toshiba, Vweb, Systemonic and Sigma Designs, Lineo will provide a comprehensive, best-of-breed Linux solution that enables consumer electronics manufacturers to reduce development investment while providing a feature-rich platform for the residential gateway markets."
"Entertainment gateways are poised to become a significant new product during this decade," said Ken Lowe, vice president of business development at Sigma Designs. "Using Toshiba's TX49 RISC processor and Sigma's full-screen MPEG-4 decoder, this new platform combines the power and audio/video features to satisfy a wide range of entertainment needs."
"As wireless LAN technology expands into consumer applications such as wireless entertainment gateways, Systemonic is leading the charge. The most cost-effective and timely way to deliver wireless capability into homes is to use a programmable solution, such as Systemonic's Tondelayo™ dual-band, 802.11a+b Wireless LAN silicon solution. Our programmable approach to digital processing, combined with world-class RF technology, creates solutions with the performance and flexibility to cost-effectively meet the needs of the new wireless communication market," said Ruediger Stroh, CEO of Systemonic.
"This residential gateway solution seamlessly enables consumers to bridge between broadband and home networks and to deploy ubiquitous video networking," said Dr. Sho Long Chen, president and CEO at Vweb Corporation. "Our newly developed VW2005 MPEG-1, 2 and 4 encoder chip and VW2010 MPEG 1, 2 and 4 codec chip with transcoding and transrating capabilities will meet strong demand for low bit rate and low- latency applications. These applications include residential gateways, set-top boxes, personal video recorders, internet appliances, DVD-quality MPEG-4 compact disc/DVD/ hard disk drive-recordable, video surveillance, video conferencing, video on demand and video conferencing."
"The entertainment gateway is all about multimedia digital content distribution to various devices over wired and wireless networks within the home," said Dilip Thakur, vice president, Technology Development Council at Wipro Technologies. "The ideal combination of Toshiba entertainment gateway and Wipro streaming solution creates new value-added entertainment distribution within a consumer's home."