Renesas Expands EMMA Family with Set-Top Box SoCs Supporting 3D and Internet-Based Content

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
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Active Sales Promotion Planned in Asia and Europe; Renesas’ Set-Top Box SoCs Supporting 3D Broadcasts and Internet-Based Content, the EMMA3SE/P

TOKYO — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its new system-on-chip (SoC) for set-top boxes (STBs), the EMMA™3SE/P that supports the video standards used for digital television broadcasts worldwide and a wide variety of video formats required to play Internet-based content. The EMMA3SE/P SoC integrates in a single chip the functions necessary to receive digital broadcasts, including the ability to decode (decompress) digital video and audio signals and picture adjustment capabilities.

Renesas Electronics has also developed an SoC, the EMMA3SL2/LP, with support for standard definition (SD) broadcasts, and it will begin shipping at the same time as the EMMA3SE/P SoC.

Renesas Electronics has positioned SoCs for use in systems such as set top boxes, for which demand is expanding due to the widespread popularity of digital broadcasts and Internet-based content, as one of its strategic products and the company is actively working to promote this business. In 1998, Renesas Electronics was the first in the world to release a system processor for STBs with digital broadcast reception capabilities, and cumulative sales of STB system processors reached 100 million in February 2011.

The adoption of digital television broadcasting has expanded worldwide, and the popularity of 3D broadcasts and Internet-based content is expected to grow in future. As a result, there is rising demand today for semiconductor devices that combine compatibility with these standards alongside support for the latest video formats. At the same time, increasing demand for affordably priced products such as set top boxes and Internet-capable TVs is anticipated in emerging economies that are experiencing rapid growth.

The EMMA3SE/P SoC is the successor to the EMMA3SL/P SoC, released in 2009. It responds to the above demand and, in addition to being suitable for STBs providing H.264 HD viewing capabilities only, is targeted at high-volume segments such as the market for H.264 HD DVR products, including models with built-in hard disk drives. Additionally, the software that had been used for the previous EMMA3SL/P SoC are compatible with the EMMA3SE/P SoC.

Key features of the EMMA3SE/P:

(1) Advanced process node and optimized pin count for the industry-leading small package

The EMMA3SE/P SoC supports digital broadcast and H.264 HD decoding. It employs a 40-nanometer (nm) process and a 16-bit DDR3 memory interface to reduce the pin count by about one-third compared with the earlier EMMA3SL/P from Renesas Electronics. This enables use of a package measuring only 17 mm x 17 mm, the industry-leading small, making it possible for system manufacturers to design more compact STB products and reduce the overall system cost by using a smaller printed circuit board (PCB). The EMMA3SE/P and the EMMA3SL/P SoCs both have the same pin configuration. This makes it easy for a manufacturer to develop HD and SD products based on a common hardware platform.

(2) Support for a wide range of video formats

In addition to compatibility with MPEG2, MPEG4 AVC, DivX™, VC-1, WMV, and the Chinese standard AVS as in the earlier EMMA3SL/P, the EMMA3SE/P adds support for H.264 MVC for 3-D TV broadcasts and formats such as VP6 and Sorenson Spark for IP broadcasts and content streamed over the Internet.

(3) Enhanced security features to prevent unauthorized reception

In recognition of the importance of copyright protection, the EMMA3SE/P SoC supports the latest specifications of the major security vendors worldwide to protect against signal piracy. Distributors of paid broadcast content can use the EMMA3SE/P to develop STBs that provide a high level of security.

Renesas Electronics plans to promote the EMMA3SE/P in China, where satellite HD TV broadcasting is scheduled to start in FY2011. In emerging markets for digital broadcasting, such as India, Africa, and Russia, Renesas Electronics will promote sales of the EMMA3SL2/LP because H.264 SD is expected to be the dominant broadcast standard.

In future, Renesas Electronics will add the R-Home S Series of STB SoCs to further enhance and extend its home multimedia product range.

Refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of the EMMA3SE/P and EMMA3SL2/LP.

Renesas Electronics will exhibit the EMMA3SE/P and EMMA3SL2/LP at the Renesas booth at the International Broadcasting Convention 2011 (IBC 2011), to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from September 9 to 13 of this year.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of Renesas Electronics’ new EMMA3SE/P and EMMA3SL2/LP are scheduled in July 2011, priced at US$25 and US$20, respectively. Mass production will start in 2H 2011 and is scheduled to reach a scale of 1,000,000 units per month. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)