PARIS STMicroelectronics, working with a Sanyo Electric subsidiary, has developed a family of integrated digital TV (iDTV) SoCs designed for both LCD and CRT televisions.
Sanyo's new iDTV products based on the new SoCs will be demonstrated at Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), Europe's largest consumer electronics trade show that opens Friday (Aug. 29) in Berlin.
"The TV market today is transitioning to LCD TVs and digital TVs simultaneously," said Eric Aussedat, ST's display and TV general manager. The new iDTV platform addresses the needs of both LCD and CRT TVs, ranging from global progressive-scan analog to hybrid analog/digital TVs.
Based on the ST20 32-bit CPU-based iDTV platform, the new SoCs are designed to "establish the simplest path from a low cost solution for progressive-can analog TVs [which handles digital processing inside the TV] to full digital TV," Aussedat added.
By maintaining the same software development environment and the same interface used in Sanyo's current analog progressive-scan TV, iDTV users "will not even know whether the channel transmission is digital or analog," according to ST.
Dubbed as STD0500, the new SoC is designed for hybrid analog and digital iDTVs. The digital TV chip is designed for European terrestrial digital TV market, based on DVB-T standard, For now, it not support the U.S. digital HDTV system.
Integrated into the STD0500 are a 32-bit microcontroller, an analog video decoder, an MPEG-2 audio/video digital decoder, video processing, progressive-scan up-conversion and bitmap on-screen display capabilities. The chip also comes with the support for legacy analog capabilities such as teletext, teleweb and closed caption, in addition to a range of digital interactivity compatible with MHEG-5 and the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) interactive broadcast standards.
Jean-Yves Gomez, ST's TV division director, said switching channels is designed to be "very fast," and the channe l organizer can even mix both analog and digital TV transmission.
Manufacturers who want to build an LCD TV can use another IC based on the same SoC platform, in which the RGB converter for a CRT is removed. Instead, Gomez said, an LCD scaler is added.
The iDTV platform SoC does, however, require a separate audio processing chip.
When combined with the audio part and the STD0500-based hybrid TV video part, the combination costs $22, said Gomez. A 100-MHz progressive-scan analog TV solution, together with a separate audio chip, is about $10.
The iDTV SoC integrating video processing includes an LCD scaler, but is not in production yet. "The first customer, although not Sanyo, will be using it by Christmas this year," said Gomez.