ST reveals production-ready STB platform for Brazil's analogue switch-off

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
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STMicroelectronics Reveals Fully Compliant, Production-Ready Set-Top Box Platform for Brazil Analog Switch-Off

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — ABTA — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leading supplier of set-top box ICs globally, is supporting Analog Switch-Off (ASO) and the transition to richer digital TV services in Brazil with a complete ready-to-produce digital set-top box platform developed in close cooperation with Brazilian digital-TV software specialist EiTV and digital-communications chipmaker MaxLinear.

The highly integrated platform is optimized for the Brazilian market, supporting Brazil’s unique digital-TV and middleware standards and leveraging advanced System-on-Chip (SoC) integration to create a cost-effective and compact solution. Visitors to ST’s booth at the ABTA Expo & Conference 2014 in São Paulo can see a working platform.

“ST has extensive experience supporting ASO programs in Latin America and worldwide, and continues to lead this segment,” said Herve Mathieu, Box and Gateways Business Line Director, Unified Platform Division, STMicroelectronics. “The new turnkey platform we are announcing today features hardware and software tailored for the specific needs of Brazil and delivers a cost-optimized, fully compliant solution capable of bringing richer and more advanced TV services to viewers throughout the country.”

A major customer currently active in the region’s ASO market has already implemented a set-top box design based on this platform.

The platform combines ST’s latest STiH206 set-top box SoC running EiTV’s Brazilian-GINGA (Java + NCL) middleware with the MaxLinear MXL683 tuner/demodulator IC, which supports Brazil’s unique ISDB-T digital-terrestrial broadcast standard. The GINGA middleware open standard is mandated by the Brazilian government for set-top boxes supporting the ASO program.

A member of ST’s Liège digital set-top box SoC family, the STiH206 is already widely deployed in pay-TV set-top boxes throughout Brazil as well as in government-led digitization programs in nearby territories such as Venezuela. The STiH206 comes in a BGA 23x23mm package and integrates ST’s proven ST40 application processor with fast DDR3 memory and L2 cache for efficient, high-speed execution of applications and middleware. High graphics performance makes this SoC particularly well suited to support the Brazil-specific GINGA middleware.

The STiH206 features the latest generation of ST’s video decoder and video post-processor that support MPEG2, H264, VC-1 and AVS high-definition standards. The SoC also supports extensive connectivity including USB2.0, SD-MMC/SDIO and Ethernet thereby giving extra flexibility to support peripherals such as Flash drives, external HDDs, or home-network controllers such as MoCA® or Wi-Fi controllers.

The EiTV middleware is a complete product-level middleware that fully implements the GINGA specification for ISDB-T receivers. By porting this middleware to the STiH206, ST and EiTV have created a platform that complies with the requirements for ASO as mandated by the Brazilian government. Equipment producers choosing to base new set-top box designs on this platform are ensured of compatibility with the technical standards published by the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT).

The MaxLinear MXL683 tuner/demodulator receiver system ensures superior reception of ISDB-T broadcast signals, and is designed with a special focus on maximizing immunity to 4G LTE smartphone radio transmissions The best-in-class demodulator delivers robust performance in LATAM countries where multi-path fading and co-channel interference are constantly present.