Cable STB IC from STMicroelectronics shipping in volume in China

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 
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Major set-top-box makers in China adopt ST’s STi5197 leading-edge single-chip decoder IC in new home-entertainment products for global markets

GENEVA — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world’s leading suppliers of silicon chips for set-top boxes (STBs), today announced that its highly integrated single-chip STi5197 cable STB decoder is now shipping in high volume to leading STB makers in China.

The STi5197 includes a QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) demodulator and MPEG-2 audio/video-decoding and application-processing functions making the chip ideally suited to the cost-effective solutions being requested by operators in all markets. The chip also supports all major conditional-access security schemes and middleware.

“The STi5197 has gone from development to volume production in record time and we have design-ins in all important markets,” said Philippe Lambinet, Executive VP of ST’s Home Entertainment and Displays group. “Cost-effective solutions with advanced connectivity features will give viewers a rich user experience and help operators to drive the analog-to-digital conversion while also respecting low power requirements.”

“ST is leading the market in supplying high-performance cost-effective MPEG2 solutions and is paving the way to make low-cost interactive TV the norm in China,” said Mr Xia, General Manager of Jiuzhou.

“Operators are looking for high-performance set-top boxes that can enable them to introduce value-added services in a very cost-effective way. With the STi5197 we have developed a solution that meets requirements, and with only minor modifications we can address other markets such as India and South America. This keeps our development costs and time-to-market at minimum levels. We are very excited by the opportunities our development has opened up.”

The STi5197 includes an interface to off-chip Flash memory, enabling support for a PVR-type time-shift feature without requiring a hard disk drive. The USB interface provided is ideal for general connectivity including implementing DVR-enabled STBs. An Ethernet interface is also integrated, enabling manufacturers to build interactive boxes found in China.

“ST sets the standard in the China cable market,” said Mr Xie at Jinan Cable. “We have selected the STi5197 as one of the best solutions for digital migration deployment. Our deployment plans require a solution that delivers high performance, is stable, and can support added-value features with optimal investment on our side. We are now planning investments in high-definition solutions and we will work with ST, which has a strong product portfolio in this area.”

“The STi5197 makes our STBs real ‘green’ products,” said Mr Cui Wei, General Manager for the Multimedia Segment with the Inspur group. “Low-power modes were implemented easily with power consumption below 0.8W. We are particularly pleased with the performance of our DVR solution, which supports our push Video-on-Demand service using a mobile hard-disk drive connected to the USB interface.”