NEC Electronics Introduces System-on-Chip for Tuners That Enable Viewing of Digital Terrestrial Broadcasts on Analog Televisions

Friday, December 12th, 2008
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KAWASAKI, Japan — NEC Electronics (Tokyo: 6723) today introduced the EMMA™2TS system-on-chip (SoC) for tuners that enable digital terrestrial broadcasts to be viewed on current analog televisions. The new product is compliant with the “simplified DTT tuner” specifications and guidelines published by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting (Dpa) in preparation for the full migration to digital terrestrial broadcasts in Japan.

The EMMA2TS incorporates a Full SegNote orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) channel decoder compliant with the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) digital-terrestrial standard; MPEG-2 signal decoder; and image-display functionality. This combination of features in a single-chip solution is the first of its kind, and enables consumer electronics manufacturers to easily build tuners that convert digital broadcasts to analog. Furthermore, the EMMA2TS suppresses power consumption to approximately 1 watt.

In July 2011, Japan will cease analog television broadcasts and migrate completely to digital broadcasts. The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) forecasts that when analog broadcasts end, 35 million of the country’s approximately 100 million televisions in use will not be able to receive digital broadcasts. There are concerns that large numbers of analog televisions may be disposed of, or that there will be confusion among owners of televisions without digital reception capabilities, which will hinder a full migration to digital terrestrial broadcasts.

In order to resolve these issues, on December 25, 2007, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Dpa published the simplified DTT tuner specifications and guidelines aimed at increasing the viewership of digital terrestrial broadcasts. A simplified tuner is a type of set-top box that is installed between the television and antenna that converts digital terrestrial broadcasts for viewing on existing analog televisions.

Semiconductor solutions for digital consumer applications are one of the cornerstones of NEC Electronics’ business, and the company is pleased to deliver innovative products such as EMMA2TS that contribute to the development of this market.

The main benefits of EMMA2TS are as follows:

  1. All the functionality needed to receive digital terrestrial broadcasts concentrated on a single chip
    EMMA2TS is the first MPEG SoC in the industry to combine all the functionality required for digital terrestrial broadcast receivers on a single chip, including ISDB-T Full Seg OFDM channel decoder, MPEG2 signal expansion (decoding), image display, video/audio D/A converter, and smartcard interface. This facilitates the architecture of simple tuners by reducing the board area, minimizing the number of power-circuit and peripheral components, and lowering costs.
  2. Reduced power consumption without need for heat sink
    The new product optimizes the circuit architecture of conventional EMMA products, greatly reducing the circuits required to implement a simple tuner. This successfully reduces the operating power consumption to the one-Watt range, and reduces heat generation. This eliminates the need for an external heat sink, which was common in conventional products with equivalent functionality, thus reducing the component count and volume. The smaller size and lower power consumption of digital terrestrial receivers that the new product makes possible can be leveraged to create portable and compact televisions, which was not feasible with conventional Full-Seg televisions.
  3. Inherits hardware and software of existing EMMA products
    The new product is based upon the high-quality MPEG decoding hardware and software developed for the EMMA product family over the past decade. By providing hardware and software drivers with a proven record, manufacturers already utilizing EMMA products, as well as new customers using EMMA for the first time, can lessen the burden and risk of software development, and reduce the development cycles of electronics products.


Volume production is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2009, and is expected to reach 300,000 units per month by 2010.

More: EMMA2TS Overview