STMicroelectronics and ARM Team Up to Power Next-Generation Home Entertainment

Oct 28, 2009

STMicroelectronics, one of the world’s leading set-top-box chip makers, and ARM, announced today that ST has adopted the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, in addition to the Mali-400 graphics processor, for its upcoming set-top-box and digital TV system-on-chip (SoC) ICs.

The Cortex-A9 MPCore processor provides ST with the scalable high performance required to enable the high-bandwidth broadband and broadcast content being streamed into homes, while significantly improving power efficiency when compared to alternative solutions. The adoption of ARM technology enables ST to build upon the expertise accumulated during its SoC development with its successful ST-40 processor, and also signals the company’s intention to base its next-generation range of HDTV SoCs on ARM technology.

ST already has vast experience in developing cutting-edge complex SoCs based on ARM technology for various applications in wireless, computer, automotive and industrial markets. By adopting the Cortex-A9 MPCore processor for home-entertainment markets, ST is also able to access the comprehensive and expanding software ecosystem around the Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, including Adobe Flash technology and leading web browsers such as Opera, to provide compelling multimedia performance.

“Building our next-generation HDTV consumer devices around the high-performance ARM architecture will enable us to continue to deliver best-in-class devices for our customers, while providing a simple migration route from our existing ST-40 based chips,” said Philippe Lambinet, executive vice president, Home Entertainment and Display Group, STMicroelectronics. “In addition, our customers now gain access to the broad ARM ecosystem of support around the processors.”

“The adoption of ARM technology by ST, one of the world leaders for home-entertainment ICs, is a highly visible demonstration of the growing momentum behind our Cortex processors and Mali GPUs (Graphics Processor Units) in applications such as DTV and set-top boxes,” said Mike Inglis, executive vice president, Processor Division, ARM. “Our leadership position in the development of high-performance, low-power multicore technology enables ARM to provide the scalable performance demanded by next-generation consumer devices.”

“Sky welcomes the collaboration between ST and ARM to provide cost-effective, low-power set-top-box technology,” said Roger Lambert, BSkyB. “Reducing power consumption across our business is a key pillar of Sky’s strategy - utilizing the lowest power technology in our set-top boxes is a vital element of this ongoing strategy.”

ST has also licensed the ARM Mali-400 MP multicore scalable graphics processing unit (GPU) technology to meet the growing demand for exciting new graphical user interfaces and the needs of increasingly sophisticated web-based services. The Mali-400 GPU enables ST to provide ‘1080p’ 3D user interfaces conforming to the Khronos OpenGL ES 2.0 API (Application Programming Interface), and helps deliver the seamless composition of graphics and video for the best possible user experience from the next wave of web-based interactive services.

“Flash Player 10 is essential to deliver rich, compelling Web content on advanced consumer devices,” said Danny Winokur, senior director, Business Development, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “ST and ARM are enabling the underlying hardware platform, based on Open GLES 2.0, and the high-performance ARM Cortex-A9 , to deliver the full Flash experience to consumer entertainment systems.”

The first ST devices for home entertainment applications integrating the Cortex-A9 MPCore and Mali-400MP will be available in mid-2010.

Source: ARM

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