The chip, part of ST's latest-generation home entertainment platform, will support a wide variety of open-source environments to provide value-added services such as state-of-the-art gaming, Over The Top (OTT) video playback via 3rd-parties over the Internet, app stores and secure High-Definition streaming to tablets, smartphones, PCs and TVs throughout the home.
"Consumers want to see the dream of a truly connected home become a reality. The connected home means seamlessly streaming content across our TV set, our tablet or our laptop with the highest performance and speed, while being able to access operators' app stores as well as open-market stores, said Philippe Lambinet, Sr. Executive Vice President and General Manager Home Entertainment and Display Group.
Codenamed Orly, the new IC features an advanced, energy-efficient multi-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, which has unique capabilities enabling optimized playback of content and applications through software environments such as Android, Qt and the HTML5 open internet standard.
Orly will also support Adobe Flash-based gaming, media and data-driven applications that take advantage of an optimized version of Adobe AIR and Flash Player. Dedicated high-performance processing engines will deliver graphics rendering, multimedia experience and security robustness.
"The television screen is the next frontier for application development opening up amazing new opportunities for content publishers worldwide," said Jennifer Carr, Senior Director, Business Development at Adobe.
"By working closely with STMicroelectronics to optimize Flash Player and Adobe AIR for Orly, more than three million Flash developers will be able to bring next-generation applications like 3D games or premium video content to televisions."
"ARM is delighted to see ST, a key leader in the digital home and set-top box silicon market, announce the Orly product," commented Lance Howarth, Executive Vice President, Marketing, ARM. "We believe the system-on-chip solution ST has created using the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and Mali-400MP GPU sets the standard for future set top box design. The combination of these two complementary, power efficient technologies enables a rich media experience, supporting Pay TV and 'Over the Top' delivery, which is key to the future growth in this segment."
Anticipating many opportunities for Orly in home server and networking products distributing content to a multitude of connected appliances, ST says it has worekd with leading security vendors to provide support for the most advanced conditional-access security and digital rights management (DRM).
Within the Orly project, ST has also assembled important supporting ecosystems, which ST's Lambinet says are becoming more complex as markets for content and services continue to evolve. Orly will provide the flexibility to choose from a wide variety of middleware stacks, which connect components and their applications via computer software, in order to deliver the best possible user experience, filter data for privacy protection, provide interaction with other services, as well as offer assistance in handling secure transactions.
Orly is able to support Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) on platforms such as Android, taking advantage of Adobe runtimes. Since web applications contain many characteristics of desktop application software, users can navigate the web or play online games directly from their set-top box.
Support for Adobe AIR will also allow users to download standalone Flash based applications via TV App Stores. Analysts at IHS iSuppli anticipate the addressable market for apps delivered to connected TVs could grow to include many hundreds of millions of consumers over the next decade.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.