TORONTO--Canadian's V3 Semiconductor Corp. today announced a partnership with Philips Semiconductors to provide a two-chip set solution for high performance set-top box designs, using PCI bus technology from the personal computer industry.
V3 and Philips, based in the Netherlands, said they have been working together to integrate PCI technology and cable TV set-top box functions. The two companies today introduced their first two-chip solution for all the control functions needed in advanced set-top boxes.
These combined capabilities include functions for the Digital Video Broadcasting specification (MPEG transport stream descrambler and demultiplexor) and application control (central processor and peripherals) handled by Philips' SAA7240 chip, and PCI interface as well as memory control implemented by V3's V320USC circuit.
"The work we have been doing with V3 was really market driven," said Thierry Fautier, set-top box marketing manager of Philips Semiconductors, based at the company's located in Sunnyvale, Calif. "Building upon this success and to address emerging and more demanding STB applications--like Personal Video Recorders (time shifting)--we are continuing to work with V3 to develop new interfaces such as UDMA66," he added.
Set-top boxes are now demanding much greater I/O expansion capability and flexibility, which V3 believes is a natural fit for off-the-shelf PCI chips that have been serving PCs. The PCI function can be used to connect set-top boxes to external processors, Ethernet controllers, and disk drive peripherals, said V3, which is based in North York, Ontario, near Toronto.
"We are leveraging our expertise in building high-performance PCI bridges, and Philips' semiconductor and system expertise in digital consumer multi-media applications to provide PCI solutions tailored to set-top box applications," said Chris Cuciurean, business development manager at V3.