3D-Ready decoder chip enables hybrid Internet/broadcast-TV set-top boxes - Embedded.com

3D-Ready decoder chip enables hybrid Internet/broadcast-TV set-top boxes


CAMBRIDGE, UK — The STi7108 decoder SoC announced by STMicroelectronics will enable hybrid Internet/broadcast-TV set-top boxes with increased support for 3D graphics user controls, 3D TV, content protection, and connections to external devices.

The STi7108 has dual ST40-300 CPU host processors linked to a 256K L2 cache giving up to 2000 DMIPS performance and a total of 4000 DMIPs for flexible support of demanding AV, security and connectively applications.

A 3D graphics engine enables a new class of user interfaces, supports innovations such as 3D Electronic Program Guide (EPG), and enables advanced Internet content and high-performance gaming on the STB.

The manufacturer presents it as the first set-top box IC in the market to combine 3D graphics, Ethernet, USB and e-SATA interfaces to connect Internet devices, DVR storage or external Flash or hard-disk (HDD) drives. 

The STi7108 uses the ARM Mali-400 graphics processor, an embedded graphics processor which has demonstrated compliance with the Khronos OpenGL ES 2.0 specifications at HD resolutions, to deliver a powerful 3D experience.

The SoC is able to decode video in industry-standard formats, including H.264, MPEG2, VC-1 or WMV9 Internet video, and MPEG4 part 2, up to high-definition resolutions 1080p 50/60 simultaneously with 1080i/720p picture-in-picture or mosaic formats.

Other features include flexible memory-interface options offering dual 32/16-bit LMI DDR2/ DDR3 at 1066MHz and inputs for up to six transport streams. The chip provides full-motion HD 3DTV over HDMI 1.3 with HDCP copy protection.

Support for content sharing, according to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) specification, will also allow use in next-generation Blu-ray and HD media players.

Together with other integrated processors, including an audio processing subsystem and 2D-graphics handling, the STi7108 allows a significant increase in performance over products currently in mass production, thereby providing increased scope for STB designers to create multimedia value-added features and services to differentiate their products in the marketplace. 

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