NEC Electronics Introduces Cost-effective EMMA Digital SoCs for Next-Generation H.264 Video Standard

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
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Integrated Functions Enable Development of Low Cost High-Definition Set-Top Boxes or Digital TVs

KAWASAKI (Japan), DUESSELDORF (Germany), SANTA CLARA (U.S.A.) — NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) today introduced two new image-processing solutions based on their enhanced multimedia architecture (EMMA™) platform. The new EMMA3SL/HD™ and EMMA3SL/SD™ devices enable users to build set-top boxes (STBs) or Digital TVs with next-generation H.264 video compression, which offers twice the compression ratio of the current MPEG2 standard. The EMMA3SL/SD system-in chip (SoC) supports standard-definition video broadcasts, while the EMMA3SL/HD SoC supports high-definition broadcasts. The devices are the latest additions to NEC Electronics’ H.264 EMMA3 family which have achieved market success since 2006 in Blue Laser DVD players and HDTV products.

In addition to an H.264-compliant video decoder, the devices combine all of the key functions needed to receive and decode digital broadcasts, including built-in digital signal processors (DSPs) that enable systems using Dolby® Digital Plus or high-efficiency advanced audio coding (HE-AAC) to play back high-quality audio streams even at low transfer rates.

A built-in Enhanced Host Controller Interface (EHCI)-compliant USB 2.0 host controller and IEEE 802.3/802.3u/802.3x-compliant Ethernet MAC replace the external components traditionally required. This integration enables low-cost connection to external devices and networks and makes it easy for systems to import and process video and audio.

The EMMA3SL/HD SoC includes a built-in High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)-compliant interface for digital transmission of uncompressed video and audio streams, a built-in deinterlacer to convert interlaced signals into progressive signals and a built-in fast digital/analog converter to produce high-definition signal output.

NEC Electronics expects strong demand for the new EMMA chips in Europe, Russia, India, Brazil and other STB markets where H.264 video compression and Dolby Digital Plus and HE-AAC audio have been growing in popularity.

Since launching its first EMMA chip–the world’s first SoC for STBs with digital broadcast receivers–in 1998, the company has been actively developing a wider selection of EMMA products with greater functionality for STBs, digital televisions, and DVD recorders.


NEC Electronics’ new EMMA3SL/SD devices are available now in sample quantities. Volume production for both chips is scheduled to begin by the third quarter of 2008 with production levels of 300,000 units/month for each product.

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