MANHASSET, N.Y. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has introduced a system-on-a-chip (SoC) device for high-definition TVs and digital set-top-boxes to meet U.S. requirements.
The S5H2200 is a single-chip solution that incorporates dual HD MPEG-2 decoders, which can simultaneously provide high-quality audio and video for digital broadcasts to the sub-screen as well as to the main screen, an ARM920T-based 330MHz CPU, and the company's proprietary picture improvement function, DNIe (Digital Natural Image Engine).
The chip supports various display modes such as multiple picture-in-picture and picture-in-graphics, providing an added convenience for digital TV viewers. It also includes a 24-bit DSP for high fidelity sound, and supports multiple-input transport stream decoder for personal video recorder application. Interfaces for various peripherals such as Memory Stick, ATAPI, IEEE1394 and USB make the device compatible with external inputs from other digital devices such as digital set top, DVD, game console and digital camcorder.
Samsung's device is the latest in a recent rash of announcements from companies scrambling to carve out a slice of the growing digital TV market. iSuppli/Stanford Resources (Santa Clara, Calif.) projects digital TV shipments to increase from 17 million units in 2004 to 77 million units in 2008.
That growth is due to the Federal Communications Commission requiring that 50 percent of all TVs with screens 36 in. and larger incorporate tuners for digital broadcasting this year. By 2007, the FCC will require all TVs with 13 in. or larger screens to be digital broadcast-ready.
In addition, digital TV is catching on worldwide with France and Italy scheduled to begin digital broadcasting this year and China slated to follow next year.
Over the past month, Sarnoff Corp., Princeton, N.J., has introduced audio and video IP enabling TV makers to incorporate full digital TV signal decoding and demodulation functions on a chip.
Last week, U.S. Digital Television (USDTV) Inc., Salt Lake City, announced a technology partnership with global electronics supplier LG Electronics and LG Innotek to supply advanced generation 8-VSB chips and ATSC tuners for its set-top boxes.