Digital set-top IC to get May airing

Digital set-top IC to get May airing
Steve Bush and Richard Ball The digital terrestrial TV set-top box chip developed jointly by the BBC and LSI Logic will get its first airing at the Cable and Satellite show in May (Earl’s Court, London). “We aim to show it in a terrestrial-only set-top box and one that has digital satellite capability as well,” said Jean-Luc Driotcourt, marketing director of LSI’s digital TV business. The BBC-LSI chip implements channel decode, providing all the functions required to convert the RF input signal to an MPEG-2 transport stream. The chip is based on a multi-component design by BBC engineers. Both companies have collaborated closely to turn this into one silicon chip and LSI now has samples for internal use. LSI also has front-ends for satellite and cable set-top boxes and can therefore mix and match these in multi-standard boxes. The BBC’s interest in the project follows from its desire for cheap digital terrestrial receivers on the market once services begin this autumn. Meanwhile, Motorola is preparing its digital terrestrial chipset for service. According to David Jones, marketing development manager for set-top boxes at Motorola, the company has now shipped over 450 design kits to the majority of the set-top box developers. “We currently have a three chip solution. That design is complete and we are now putting this into a single chip,” Jones said.


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