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HD decoder chip supports HD-DVD, Blu-ray

Posted: 15 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HD-DVD  Blu-ray  USB  ST  decoder 

STi7200 decoder chip from ST

STMicroelectronics has announced a new dual-video-stream high-definition (HD) decoder chip, the STi7200, intended for STBs, digital video recorders (DVRs) and DVD players. This highly integrated SoC supports both HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats, in addition to high-definition satellite and cable TV standards, and is produced in 65nm process technology to deliver lower power consumption and competitive pricing. It is said to be the world's first such device to be available in this small geometry.

Consumers require STBs based on HD decoders to view the high-definition content now increasingly being provided by operators. In households with multiple TV sets, the program material could be viewed in different locations on equipment with different video and audio capabilities. The STi7200 enables and simplifies the provision of multiple content streams without the cost and complexity of two STBs, the company said. Twin outputs allow viewers to watch HD material on two TV sets, one channel in high definition and the other downscaled on-chip to standard definition.

Home network distribution
Dual high-speed Ethernet ports support the efficient distribution of high-definition content around the home, enabling the chip to be a central part of a home network of equipment such as cable, satellite, IP and terrestrial STBs; DVRs; DVD players and recorders; home gateways and media servers. Dual transport stream processors allow flexible DVR configurations, with up to four-channel recording alongside two-channel viewing or time-shifted playback. System connectivity includes dual SATA disc drive interfaces and three USB ports.

ST's fourth-generation security technology is included to protect operators' content and services, enabling flexible systems backed by hardware chains of trust. The STi7200 supports the Secure Video Processor (SVP) and Windows Media DRM 10 standards, which allow digital rights to be passed between consumer devices.

Secure connectivity is provided through an HDMI and High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP) interface, both of which are required to connect consumer appliances to high-definition displays.

Support for H.264/AVC, MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoding allows the STi7200 to be used across all HD markets. The device also meets the latest requirements for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray high definition DVD by supporting all of the required video and audio standards, as well as the current and emerging copy protection technology, allowing manufacturers to build a single hardware design that addresses both markets. Development support includes software tools, support for Linux, Windows CE and OS21, and low level drivers, plus a range of middleware driver libraries.

Double decoding capability
"By doubling the decoding capability of our leading-edge STB and DVD chip, adding new interfaces, and then producing it in 65nm technology, ST is providing manufacturers with the most cost-effective HD building block, which can be used across a range of hi-end consumer multi-media products," said Monica de Virgiliis, general manager of ST's home video division. "It provides secure support for all the HD standards, and enables consumers to set up advanced home entertainment networks."

The STi7200 is available in sample quantities, in a cost-effective 35-by-35 PBGA package that enables 4-layer PCB routing, and is priced at Rs.1,359.60 ($30) in high volume.

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