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Set-top box SoC supports digital TV and internet content

Supports Digital TV Broadcasts and Internet Content Distribution; Aims to Expand Sales in the European and Chinese Markets

Renesas Electronics, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, has announced the availability of its new system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end set-top boxes (STBs) the R-Home S1, supporting both worldwide digital TV broadcast reception and Internet content distribution.

Renesas positions SoCs for STBs as strategic products in its SoC business and have been aggressively promoting this business. In February 2011, the total shipments of Renesas’ STB SoCs reached 100 million units. At the same time, services that integrate communications, broadcasting, and Internet connectivity have been growing worldwide. As a result, the requirements for hybrid STBs that can support these services are increasing. Additionally, there are now calls for the ability to rebroadcast to smart phones and other mobile terminals content received with a STB.

Renesas R-Home S1 SoC addresses these needs by providing significant performance improvements over Renesas’ existing STB products by first taking advantage of the broadcast and security technologies developed in earlier TV/STB products, the recording technologies developed in Blu-RayTM/DVD products, and the low-power technologies developed for mobile product. R-Home S1 is the first Renesas STB SoC that takes advantage of the integrated SoC platform (a design platform that unifies critical core technologies from three areas: mobile products; automotive systems; and home multimedia) that Renesas developed after its newly-formed merger in April 2010 which adopted the ARM multicore processors, and Imagination Technologies 3D graphics engine. It also includes a high-definition video transcoder to support smart phones and tablets.

Key features of the R-Home S1 SoC:

(1) The industry’s highest level of CPU and 3D graphics processing performance in a STB product

By adopting the dual-core ARM® Cortex-A9 MPCore, the R-Home S1 achieves an industry-leading performance of 5000 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS) at 1 GHz. This corresponds to a performance increase of approximately 8 times compared to Renesas existing devices and can support a wide range of computation intensive applications including future multimedia formats by the use of the ARM NEON engine.

Furthermore, this new device incorporates the Imagination Technologies Ltd PowerVR SGX531 3D graphics core, which can implement photo-realistic 3D graphics display and intuitive 3D GUIs.

(2) MPEG encoder/transcoder for converting between video formats

The R-Home S1 incorporates a high-definition MPEG encoder supporting up to 1280 × 720 pixels at 30 fps and can convert input signals in real-time to any one of the MPEG2, MPEG4 or H.263 formats. This allows broadcast or Internet content received in an R-Home S1 based STB to be streamed to mobile terminals and even use STBs for video phone applications.

(3) Achieves industry-leading small package and low power consumption

By adopting a 40-nanometer (nm) process, ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor and optimised number of pins for a hybrid STB device, the R-Home S1 SoC has achieved an industry-leading small package size of 27 × 27 millimetres (mm) resulting in reduction of both board and system costs, and lower power consumption in high-performance hybrid STB products.

(4) Supports the latest security specifications for preventing unauthorized content reception over broadcast and Internet channels

Recognizing the importance of copyright protection, the R-Home S1 supports the latest standards from world’s leading security vendors for preventing unauthorized reception of commercial broadcasts. Adopting these standards makes it easier for system designers to implement highly-secure STBs for commercial broadcasters.

R-Home S1 SoC incorporates 1G and 100MHz Ethernet MACs for supporting high-speed Internet and Home Networking connections. It also incorporates general purpose PCI Express®, and SDIO interfaces which can easily be interfaced to WiFi chipsets or any other functions that an operator requires.

The R-Home S1 is the first SoC device released from the Renesas R-Home series of home multimedia products, and the company plans to follow with subsequent products in this series to quickly respond to market needs and provide optimal products in a timely manner. Renesas plans to promote the R-Home S1 SoC aggressively on a worldwide basis, especially in the growing hybrid STB markets, in the European satellite market and in the Chinese cable market.

The R-Home S1 SoC will be supported with a software development kit (SDK) to provide smooth transition from existing products to new models while minimizing the development efforts required.

Refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of the R-Home S1 SoC.