SAN JOSE, Calif. Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc. will field a range of silicon this summer for the U.S. terrestrial and Japanese satellite digital-TV broadcast markets. Devices will run the gamut from demodulation chips to audio and high-definition video decoders.
At last week's National Association of Broadcasters convention, Fujitsu vowed to make an aggressive push in the DTV market. The company will pursue slots for both ASICs and application-specific standard products (ASSPs) by leveraging the macro-based function blocks used in its high-definition decoder.
Only a handful of semiconductor companies currently offer complete DTV chip-set solutions. Fujitsu said its pricing will undercut those of competing solutions.
The company's DTV chip set for the U.S. market will include a high-definition MPEG-2 decoder, an 8VSB (vestigial sideband) demodulator and a separate AC-3 Dolby Digital decoder running on a homegrown 32-bit digital signal processor.
For Japan's digital satellite broadcast market, Fujitsu is spinning a baseband demodulator, high-definition video decoder and separate audio decoder. The audio chip, based on a proprietary 20-bit DSP, will handle MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) decode, as mandated by the Japanese digital broadcast TV standard.
Fujitsu hopes to develop a single-chip DTV solution integrating an high-definition decoder, DSP, CPU and embedded DRAM by late next year or early 2001, according to Ali Erdengiz, Infor-tainment director at Fujitsu Microelectronics (San Jose, Calif.). The CPU core will most likely be a Sparclite, Erdengiz said.
Fujitsu will launch the MB86374 MPEG-2 Main Profile@High Level video decoder this summer priced at less than $50. The companion 8VSB demodulator, the MB87L3030, will be available at $20 in minimum lots of 1,000.
The MPEG-2 HD decoder incorporates a transport stream demultiplexer; an MPEG-2 video decoder; a video-output-format converter; and a 256-color, 1,920 x 1,280 on-screen-display. The chip, designed to support an 80-Mbit/second maximum input-bit rate, handles all Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) formats plus the 1,440 x 1,080 format. The chip can decode and display one high-definition program or four standard-definition programs simultaneously. The on-chip format converter produces 1080i, 720p, 480i or 480p outputs while performing MPEG video scaling to arbitrary sizes.
The chip also comes with a memory-controller interface to two external 64-Mbit DRAMs. The chip is manufactured with a 0.25-micron CMOS process.
The decoder is hardwired silicon but is designed with a new, macro-based architecture, according to Fujitsu. Such blocks as format converters, datacast-support functions and graphics processing for customized GUIs can easily be put together in one ASIC, the company said.
The 8VSB demodulator, set to sample in June, is a fully in-tegrated chip with a front-end 10-bit analog/digital converter, demodulator and forward error correction, according to Erdengiz. The device accepts direct IF sampling at 44 MHz and thereby eliminates an additional down-conversion stage. Manufactured with a 0.35-micron technology, it complies with the ATSC standard for U.S. digital terrestrial TV receivers.
Erdengiz said the 32-bit DSP for Dolby Digital will be available in May and the AC-3 firmware will be available in June.