STMicroelectronics unveils STB initiatives at TVConnect and CCBN

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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STMicroelectronics Builds on Set-Top Box Successes and Further Strengthens its STB Portfolio

  • Major initiatives to be unveiled at TV Connect London and CCBN Beijing, reinforce digital-home leadership

GENEVA — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, is strengthening its presence in the broadcast set-top box (STB) market with a number of major initiatives. These include:

  • Introduction of the STiH301(Liege2), the first member of its new “Liege2” product family that delivers ARM® processing power and HEVC(1) decoding to entry and mid-range boxes for the broadcast market;
  • Launch of smaller and more power-efficient members of the market-proven Liege family for entry-level boxes; and
  • Cooperation with MaxLinear to optimize cable and satellite front-ends.


Augmenting the success of the popular “Liege” family (STiH207 and derivatives), the STiH301(Liege2) raises the bar in entry and mid-range broadcast set-top boxes and Internet Protocol (IP) clients by integrating a powerful ARM Cortex®-A9 processor that delivers performance of up to 4000 DMIPS, an integrated Full HD HEVC decoder, ST’s award-winning Faroudja® Image Processing, and best-in-class security in a single System-on-Chip solution fabricated in ST’s low-power 28nm CMOS technology.

While ARM cores are increasingly propagating throughout the set-top boxes market, till now the entry-level units have not benefited from ST’s expertise in CAS(2) broadcast. Derived from the popular Cannes family and leveraging ST’s deep expertise in broadcast CAS security, the STiH301 (Liege2) now enables manufacturers of entry to mid-range STB products to benefit from the higher performance of the Cortex-A9 processor and the comprehensive and well-proven ARM design and development ecosystem.

“Containing a powerful ARM CPU and GPU, Liege2 brings all the benefits of the most extensive software ecosystem supporting all STB middleware as well as all types of CAS and DRM(3) security,” said Eric Benoit, Business Development Director, Digital Convergence Group, STMicroelectronics. “This enables OEMs to develop mid-range broadcast and IP boxes that enhance the end-user experience while maintaining highly competitive cost, size, security, and power-consumption targets.”

The integrated HEVC decoder inside STiH301(Liege2) enables broadcasters and operators to leverage this new bandwidth-efficient encoding technology for HD broadcast by offering more channels in equivalent bandwidth or using less bandwidth to reach the end user without a significant increase in bill-of-materials costs.

The STiH301 will be available for sampling in Q2, 2014, housed in a BGA19x19 package.

Liege/Cardiff/Palma family for entry-level boxes

ST is also taking advantage of TV Connect (London, March 18-20) and CCBN (China Content Broadcasting Network, Beijing, March 20-22) to introduce several new variants of its popular Liege/Cardiff/Palma family that is based on the market-proven ST40 core.

“While ST is leading the industry in the transition to HEVC, first with its successful deployment of our Cannes (STiH310 and derivatives) family and now with the launch of the Liege2/STiH301 family, we remain committed to supporting legacy markets and protecting ST customers’ investment in this family by continuing to optimize the Liege (STiH207 and derivatives) family,” said Benoit.

The new devices, available for sampling now, are housed in smaller 23×23 BGA packages to enable smaller, though even more powerful, entry-level set-top-boxes. The family supports all popular CAS and middleware, including China’s SARFT DCAS(4) security system middleware.

Cooperation with MaxLinear

To accelerate customer time-to-market, ST is also extending its cooperation with MaxLinear, a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications.

ST and MaxLinear are developing complete reference designs for the cable and satellite market leveraging MaxLinear’s FSC™(5) multi-channel front-end technology and other ST SoC families. The reference designs will include an optimized hardware implementation for applications with four to eight video channels. The reference designs incorporate MaxLinear’s RF expertise with LTE/Wi-Fi immunity and fully integrate MaxLinear’s drivers with ST’s software SDK to accelerate time-to-market. The reference designs will be available in Q2/2014.

“Combining the complementary technologies of ST and MaxLinear provides the set top box market with the industry’s most compelling system solution,” said Brian Sprague, vice president and general manager of MaxLinear. “We are very excited by the opportunities to develop complete set-top box solutions that combine the low power and scalability of MaxLinear’s multi-channel FSC chipsets with ST’s industry leading HEVC system-on-chip solutions.”

1. High-Efficiency Video Coding
2. Conditional Access Security
3. Digital Rights Management
4. State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (China) Downloadable Conditional Access System
5. Full-Spectrum Capture