Renesas says TV set-top chip business is strategic

Renesas Electronics says it views its digital TV set-top box (STB) chipset business as strategically important.

The company said it has been “aggressively promoting” this business and in February 2011 it recorded total shipments of STB system-on-chip devices of 100 million units.

Renesas now sees a big opportunity to address the combination of communications, broadcasting, and Internet functions within the TV set-up box.

“There is also a requirement for the ability to rebroadcast to smart phones and other mobile terminals content received with a STB,” said Renesas.

To address this trend for integrated functionality, the supplier has combined different technologies from its mobile, automotive and home multimedia activites to create the R-Home S1 SoC platform, based on ARM multicore processors and Imagination Technologies 3D graphics engine.

It also includes a high-definition video transcoder to support smart phones and tablets.

The 40nm chip’s dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore delivers 5000 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS) at 1GHz.

“This corresponds to a performance increase of approximately 8 times compared to our existing devices and can support a wide range of computation intensive applications including future multimedia formats by the use of the ARM NEON engine,” said Renesas.

The Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX531 3D graphics core can implement photo-realistic 3D graphics display and intuitive 3D GUIs.

The chip’s high-definition MPEG encoder supports up to 1280 × 720 pixels at 30 fps and can convert input signals in real-time to any one of the MPEG2, MPEG4 or H.263 formats.

R-Home S1 SoC incorporates 1G and 100MHz Ethernet MACs for supporting high-speed internet and home networking connections.

There are also PCI Express and SDIO interfaces for interfacing to WiFi chipsets, for example.

“We plan to promote the SoC aggressively on a worldwide basis, especially in the growing hybrid STB markets, in the European satellite market and in the Chinese cable market,” said Renesas.

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