LONDON -- Sony Corp.'s Semiconductor & Devices Europe (SDE) subsidiary and IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Division today announced plans to offer complementary and compatible products for set-top box developers in the European market.
Under a new agreement, the two companies said they intend to collaborate to bring their respective products for digital video broadcast (DVB) to customers working on systems for digital TV.
Sony's SDE operation offers tuners and demodulators for terrestrial and satellite TV systems as well as interface elements for audio/video products, while IBM Microelectronics has targeted its PowerPC processor cores and MPEG technologies at subsystems for DVB applications, the two companies said.
"Set-top box suppliers and TV operators are demanding new levels of performance and service so that they can differentiate their offerings in the marketplace," said Eric Tsou, director of strategic marketing for Pervasive Computing at IBM Microelectronics. He added that the new partnership between Sony and IBM is intended to do "just that."
IBM said it is offering a development platform for set-top boxes with two main elements: the company's STB04xx STB controller, which integrates MPEG and transport technologies with a PowerPC core operating at 350 million instructions per second (MIPS); and Sony's front-end technologies. IBM said the software environment was developed using Wind River Systems Inc.'s Tornado development tools under the VXWorks operating system.
Future products from IBM and Sony will be aimed at providing set-top box suppliers with powerful new integrated solutions, which will meet a growing demand for simple and sophisticated digital TV services, said IBM and Sony. Terms of the partnership agreement were not released.