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Decoders embed secure video

Geneva — STMicroelectronics announced its first silicon devices to implement secure video processor (SVP) technology, which is the next generation open specification for the protection of digital video content.

The STB5525 set-top box (STB) decoder, which is also ST's first single-chip solution to support dual TV and dual digital video recorder (DVR) requirements in standard definition STBs, and the STB5524, which targets the growing DVR market, are intended for use across satellite, cable and terrestrial TV services.

The decoders both offer a glue-less interface to ST's range of demodulator chips, enabling them to be used with a range of sources to provide a cost-effective solution for delivering digital content to two TV sets or two digital video recorders, the company said. They include a low cost serial advanced technology architecture (SATA) interface for connecting hard disk and recordable DVD drives, plus two 480 Mbits/second USB2 ports for home networking and for the simple addition of peripherals.

The integrated central processing unit (CPU) of the STB5525 and the STB5524 is a 300 MHz ST231 core. This core is a member of the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC)-certified ST200 very long instruction word (VLIW) series, which was designed specifically for video and audio streaming (including MPEG-2 and MPEG-4) in digital consumer applications. It executes up to four operations per clock cycle, achieving performance comparable to a RISC processor running at a significantly higher clock frequency while maintaining the low dynamic power consumption of its actual clock speed.

The new core significantly increases the available computing power compared
to earlier decoders, and will reduce costs for manufacturers by enabling
system services such as a high speed modem, traditionally a hardware
function, to be implemented in software, according to the company. Software drivers are available for the new decoder, and full software development support is provided through
evaluation boards and complete ST's application programming interface (STAPI) software.

The STB5525 and STB5524 decoders will be available in sample quantities in
Q3 2005, with volume production scheduled for Q1 2006. In 10,000s, the decoders are priced at $15 and $14 each, respectively. Click here for the STB5525 data sheet. Click here for the STB5524 data sheet.

STMicroelectronics , 1-888-787-3550, www.st.com.

Click here for more information on the SVP Alliance.

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