SWINDON, UK--May 20, 2003--Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE/TSX:ZL) launched the industry's first fully integrated processing chips for terrestrial digital TV PVRs. With Zarlink's ZL10320/321 chips, consumer electronics companies can build PVRs in boxes about the size of a VHS cassette tape60% smaller than today's PVR models.
PVRs, also known as DVRs (digital video recorders), are a category of digital set-top boxes that allow viewers to simultaneously receive, record to hard disk, and manipulate two digital TV channels. Popular PVR features include multi-channel record and replay, live-broadcast pause and resume, and advanced channel programming.
Zarlink's ZL10320 chip is the first digital TV processor to combine all the core PVR processing functions into one device. Using its new processor, Zarlink has produced the industry's smallest PVR reference design, which includes a hard-disk drive, memory, RF (radio frequency) tuners, power regulators, and other components. Measuring just 24.2 cm × 14.2 cm × 20 mm, Zarlink's ZLE10302 PVR reference board is very power-efficient, consuming just 10 W.
"With our compact, dual-channel PVR processors and reference board, we've set the industry benchmark for integration, and delivered technology that helps our customers succeed with compelling DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial) products," said Paul Fellows, DTV system-on-a-chip product line director, Zarlink Semiconductor. "These dual-channel PVR devices complement the ZL10310/311 single-channel DVB-T processors we unveiled in late 2002, and clearly demonstrate Zarlink's technology roadmap for the DVB-T marketplace."
Expanding Markets for DVB-T Consumer Electronics
DVB-T is an ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standard for broadcasting digital TV channels that are received via rooftop antennas. Consumer demand for PVRs and other DVB-T consumer electronics products is being fueled by global adoption of the standard, and growing numbers of "free-to-air" digital TV channels, particularly in Europe. These channelssuch as Britain's popular new Freeview serviceare being rolled out, in part, to support the European Union's 2006 start date for switching off analog TV transmissions.
Zarlink's ZL10320 delivers, on one piece of silicon, all the core processing functions for DVB-T-compliant PVRs. It integrates two COFDM (coded orthogonal frequency division multiplex) channel demodulators with a PVR controller, MPEG-2 (Moving Picture Experts Group, Standard #2) demultiplexer, audio and video decompression, on-screen display graphics, a high-performance RISC (reduced instruction set computing) central processing unit, and peripheral interfaces.
Robust Linux Software Development Kit
A robust software development kit based on the industry's open-source, royalty-free Linux platform supports the ZL10320 processor. The kit, which includes run time and development environments, speeds time-to-market by enabling fast development cycles. Software developed with the kit can also be used in applications for other Linux-based consumer products, saving electronics companies time and money.
Sister Chip for Dolby and Pay TV
The ZL10321 dual-channel processor is a pin-compatible enhanced version of the ZL10320 chip. The ZL10321 processor offers Dolby® Digital multi-channel audio decoding and Macrovision® copy protection for applications requiring Dolby Audio and Pay TV services.
Availability, Packaging, and Pricing
The ZL10320/21 processors are in volume production. The devices are packaged in a 388-ball PBGA (plastic ball-grid array) measuring 27 mm × 27 mm × 2.56 mm. In 1k quantities, the ZL10320 processor is priced at US$44.00, and the ZL10321 chip is priced at US$47.00. The ZLE10302 reference board is available from Zarlink as an evaluation tool, or as a full design database with schematics, bill of materials, and layout files. For more information, please visit products.zarlink.com/profiles/ZL10320.
For information on Zarlink's single-channel ZL10310/311 DVB-T processors, visit products.zarlink.com/profiles/ZL10310.
About Zarlink Semiconductor
For almost 30 years, Zarlink Semiconductor has delivered semiconductor solutions that drive the capabilities of voice, enterprise, broadband, and wireless communications. The company's success is built on its technology strengths, including voice and data networks, consumer and ultra low-power communications, and high-performance analog. For more information, visit www.zarlink.com.