PARIS -- STMicroelectronics and Thomson SA's multimedia unit in Paris today announced a five-year agreement to expand collaborate in system-on-chip (SoC) development for digital consumer product applications, including televisions, set-top boxes, and DVD systems. The pact extends a previous R&D partnership between the two European companies during the past decade.
"Together, we have pioneered the MPEG2 markets such as digital set-top boxes and DVD by co-developing SoCs in a joint design center," said Pasquale Pistorio, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics, which is based near Geneva. "The new agreement will expand further this cooperation, particularly in the fields of digital TV, digital set-top boxes and DVD."
STMicroelectronics, now one of the five chip makers in the world, has its roots in Thomson's own semiconductor activities prior to the company's creation in 1987 with the merger of Italy's SGS Microelettronica and France's Thomson Semiconducteurs.
Under the new development agreement, Paris-based Thomson and ST will expand the scope of their common R&D activities and jointly develop a wider range of solutions for digital consumer devices, with early focus on chip sets for DVD modules, digital TV, and digital set-top boxes. In particular, the two companies said they intend to leverage their expertise in satellite TV markets and develop highly integrated ICs for cable set-top box markets.
"The combination of our technological know-how and customer coverage will position Thomson and ST at the forefront of the expansion of the digital mass market," vowed Thierry Breton, chairman and CEO of Thomson multimedia.