Sigma Designs Unveils Industry's Most Advanced, Ultra-Thin Set-Top-Box Design

Monday, June 20th, 2011 
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Reference Design Integrates Media Processing, Home Connectivity and Home Control Technologies Creating a New Class of High Performance, Ultra-Thin Set-Top-Box

MILPITAS, CA — Sigma Designs (NASDAQ: SIGM), the world leader in connected media platforms, is poised to energize the set-top-box market by unveiling the industry’s most advanced platform reference design, enabling an experience only found in devices that are combined with networking gateways. Sigma Designs will add more fuel to the growing market of set-top-boxes by enabling these products to stream high-definition content from the Web, in 1080p, via networking through the AC power adapter, all in a device so small that it fits in the palm of your hand.

“Service providers are looking for ways to cut costs while improving the consumer experience,” said Thinh Tran, chairman and CEO at Sigma Designs. “With the Sigma Ultra-Thin, telcos and cable companies, as well as any IP-based TV and Video companies, can enable users to self-install their set-top-box for dramatically reduced deployment costs. Just as importantly, this high performance solution delivers more reliable quality of service, a form factor consumers love and the biggest ecosystem of interoperable home control products to control.”

Sigma Designs’ Ultra-Thin Reference Platform is unlike existing set-top-boxes. This revolutionary self-installable, ultra-thin design doesn’t require a power cord; it plugs directly into AC power outlets for easy installation by consumers and uses Sigma’s award-winning HomePlug AV with ClearPath for the most reliable networking over the home’s electrical wiring. With a state-of-the-art media processor, this new platform decodes multiple HD IPTV streams and connects to a HDTV through a simple HDMI connector.

The new system also integrates Z-Wave RF technology for the most advanced remote control functionality. With Z-Wave, the Ultra-Thin can be placed out of sight, behind the TV or in a cabinet without affecting its functionality and can be used to control not only the TV, but also over 500 available Z-Wave devices including lighting, door locks, thermostats and more. This is the first design of its kind to weave together the comprehensive functionalities and necessary processing power to address most every need for the consumer to control their connected home.

Sigma Designs will make the fully integrated ultra-thin set-top-box reference design available to service providers and their set-top equipment suppliers. These customers will have the advantage of quick time-to-market through these turnkey solutions, whereby they will have a single agreement and point of contact for direct support.

The new Ultra-Thin reference platform is the first in a series of Sigma-enabled solutions developed to support the needs of the ever evolving, feature-rich set-top-box market. Its core technologies include:

  • SMP8670 media processor

    The SMP8670 is a highly integrated, high-performance, low-cost media processor targeted at thin-clients and optimized to run over-the-top application and graphically rich environments such as Adobe AIR for TV and Adobe Flash Player. Featuring high-quality audio/video decoding, powerful audio/video processing and commonly used peripheral interfaces, this platform combines with our software architecture to enable rapid product development and lower manufacturing costs. This new solution is 40% faster and consumes 30% less power than previous Sigma thin-client solutions, which dramatically improves the responsiveness of new advanced user interfaces. Additionally, the architecture offers advanced content protection, supporting a wide variety of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Conditional Access (CA) solutions and support for Android, Microsoft Windows CE and Linux.

  • HomePlug AV technology with ClearPath™

    Sigma’s HomePlug AV with ClearPath is a breakthrough home networking technology that enables unprecedented, carrier-class streaming of HD video, voice and data over existing powerlines in the home. Sigma’s award-winning platform uses all three wires — phase, neutral and ground to deliver improved performance and up to twice the throughput. It is the only MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) solution currently available over powerline. Conforming to the universal HomePlug AV standard, Sigma’s HomePlug AV with ClearPath has the unique ability to deliver triple play, whole-home DVR, HDTV and 3DTV to every power outlet within the home — even within multi-phased homes, across surge protectors and through EMI filters.

  • Z-Wave®technology

    Z-Wave is the leading technology for home control and energy management. Today, over 500 completely interoperable products worldwide from over 170 manufacturers support Z-Wave — far more than rival technologies. The leading makers of lighting, thermostats, shade controls, door locks and more have created the broadest ecosystem of solutions. That is why ADT, Schlage, Verizon, Vivint and more all deploy home services based on Z-Wave.