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System LSI chip pair targets STBs with HDDs

Santa Clara, Calif.—NEC Electronics America Inc. is sampling a pair of system LSI chips based on the enhanced multimedia architecture (EMMA) platform.

Designed for set-top boxes (STBs) with internal hard disk drives, the EMMA2SE (part number uPD61140) and the EMMA2SE/P (part number uPD61142) single-chip devices include all of the key functions needed to receive, record and play back digital TV broadcasts.

Compared to NEC Electronics' previous-generation EMMA2 device, the EMMA2SE (part number uPD61140) and the EMMA2SE/P (part number uPD61142) offer higher performance to enable even smoother execution of common middleware, higher integration to lower bill of materials (BOM) costs, and software compatibility to shorten development time.

The EMMA2SE (part number uPD61140) and the EMMA2SE/P (part number uPD61142) offer a second, independent TV or DVD recorder output, while the EMMA2SE/P device offers security features for content protection.

Main features and advantages of the EMMA2SE and EMMA2SE/P chips include an enhanced CPU and memory interface. An integrated MIPS32 4KEC microprocessor core capable of executing 284 million instructions per second (MIPS) offers a 40-percent improvement in performance compared to the previous EMMA2 chip, according to NEC.

In addition, both chips employ a new 1-gigabit DDR SDRAM interface capable of operating at 266-MHz, compared to the 512-Mbit SDRAM interface that operated at 133-MHz in the EMMA2 chip. The improved performance enables smoother operation of middleware employed on STBs, such as web browsers and Java virtual machines.

The devices integrate NEC Electronics' USB 2.0 host controller and an oscillator on-chip to facilitate the transfer of stored data between STBs and peripheral devices such as flash memory readers or digital cameras, eliminating the need for external components and helping to lower BOM costs.

The software for both devices is compatible with the software used in NEC Electronics' previous EMMA devices, allowing customers to shorten development times by making effective use of existing software resources when designing new systems.

Pricing: The EMMA2SE and EMMA2SE/P are priced at $30 and $35, respectively.
Availability: Volume production for both chips is scheduled to begin by the end of 2007.

NEC Electronics America Inc., 1-408-588-6000, www.necel.com

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