Sigma Introduces Media Processor Optimized for Blu-ray Players

Monday, June 1st, 2009
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SMP8642 Blu-ray Solution Offers Leading Performance in a Cost-Effective Implementation

TAIPAI, Taiwan — COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2009 — Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM), a leader in digital media processing system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for consumer electronics, today announced that it has begun sampling its new SMP8642 media processor SoC, designed for mainstream Blu-ray players. Product demonstrations are available at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in suite # 3707 at this week’s Computex 2009 Show, located in Taipei, Taiwan from Tuesday, June 2 to Saturday, June 6. The SMP8642, coupled with Sigma’s proven Blu-ray Profile 2.0 software suite, provides the highest performance interactive experience and a cost-effective architecture for competing in today’s player market.

“For years, Sigma has been a pioneer in media processor system-on-chip solutions for Blu-ray players,” said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing at Sigma Designs. “We see a great deal of opportunity in offering an optimized solution with industry leading performance, a cost-efficient architecture, and the most proven Blu-ray software suite available.”

Sigma’s SMP8642 media processor integrates a wide complement of advanced capabilities for a SoC solution with powerful multimedia processing, robust content security system, multiple on-chip CPUs, and a range of on-chip system peripherals. The combination of on-chip processors yields an impressive increase in overall performance. The SMP8642 silicon is also complemented by one of the most robust software suites available, featuring Sigma’s field-proven multimedia library, secure operating system, OS support environment, and Blu-ray software suite with Profile 2.0 (BD-live). As a result, the SMP8642 provides an ideal solution for this year’s generation of mainstream Blu-ray players while remaining software compatible with the SMP8644 and enables OEMs to easily design a family of different price/performance offerings.

The SMP8642 is a multi-core media processor that features a 667 MHz main CPU along with a 333 Mhz second CPU for a total processing power of 1840 DMIPs and a Caffeine Mark of 5649. This enables crisp user interaction and a wider range of application-based features which enhance the “future-proofing” of this platform. The second MIPS processor, called the IPU, manages real-time interrupt operations and is available to offload burdensome system tasks such as networking, and graphics to further optimize main CPU utilization. A third MIPS processor, called the XPU, manages all system security functions including decryption and key generation. The SMP8642 also features two 32-bit DDR-2 memory controllers which supports double-data-rate memories up to 667 Mbps as well as an improved arbitration engine to maximize the efficiency of accesses. To meet the new low-power requirements for consumer products, the SMP8642 features several standby modes, including full sleep and wake-on-LAN.

From a media processing standpoint, the SMP8642 offers a full complement of advanced decoder engines with high definition video decoding, including H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media® Video 9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2), and the new AVS standard. High-performance graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding with 3 on-chip DSP engines which can decode all audio standards including DTS-HD MA 7.1, advanced display 12-bit xvYCC processing capabilities, and HDMI 1.3 12-bit deep color output with CEC round out its multimedia core. Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor, on-chip flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. The SMP8642 also features a full complement of system peripherals, including a dual Ethernet controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, NAND flash controller, IR controller, a dual SATA controller, and SD Card interface.

Preparing For Volume Manufacturing

As a result of the promising demand for the SMP8642, several key original design manufacturers (ODMs) are already gearing up for impending production ramps.

“We continue to demonstrate our technology leadership by providing innovative products that offer industry leading features,” said TL Lim, President of Syabas Technology Inc. “Sigma’s new SMP8642 media processor will enable us to take the next step and provide the level of performance needed for the next wave of networked Blu-ray players.”


The SMP8642 media processor will be sold through Sigma’s direct sales force and international distributors. Samples of the SMP8642 are available now with production available in July.