STMicroelectronics introduces tiny secure set-top box chip

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
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Tiny Chip From STMicroelectronics Frees Uncompromised TV Experience From the Confines of Home

GENEVA — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a top player in ICs for digital TVs and set-top boxes (STB), has extended its portfolio with a device that opens up new application scenarios, including the industry’s smallest pay-TV broadcast secured STB. Housed in a package measuring just 23x23mm, the new STiH205 system-on-chip (SoC) solution is optimized for applications that demand the smallest footprint and minimum bill of materials, facilitating production of very small two-layer PCBs for IP and broadcast set-top boxes.

The STiH205 complements ST’s existing STiH207 family of STB SoC solutions for High-Definition terrestrial, cable, satellite and IP equipment. Code-compatible with both the recently announced STiH207 and the widely-used STi7105 families, the new device facilitates rapid porting of existing software, permitting customers to expand or upgrade their product platforms with minimal development costs. The STiH205 continues this theme, but targets applications such as HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) dongles, where low cost and small footprint are the key driving factors.

“Up till now, customers have had to sacrifice high-performance secure content delivery against the need for minimum form factor. With the STiH205, this compromise is no longer necessary,” said Laurent Remont, Group Vice President and General Manager of ST’s Unified Platform Division.

The STiH205 allows the size and cost of the end equipment to be reduced, while delivering performance that is 30-50% higher than the popular previous generation STi7105. For end users, this offers the prospect of smaller, cheaper portable STBs that allow broadcast and OTT (Over-The-Top) multimedia services to be enjoyed beyond the confines of their home.

Key features of the STiH205 include:

  • BGA 23×23 mm package
  • integrated 256kB L2 cache
  • integrated Standby controller
  • integrated Ethernet PHY
  • superior video quality (for resizing, de-interlacing and picture improvement)
  • Multi Compartment Security, with no compromises
  • ability to work with lower LMI (Local Memory Interface) frequency, further reducing bill of materials and power consumption in some applications.

The STiH205 is currently sampling and volume production is scheduled for January 2013.