Renesas Electronics has also developed an SoC, the EMMA3SL2/LP, with support for standard definition (SD) broadcasts, and will begin shipping it at the same time as the EMMA3SE/P SoC.
Renesas Electronics has positioned SoCs for use in systems such as set top boxes, for which demand is expanding due to the widespread popularity of digital broadcasts and Internet-based content, as one of its strategic products and the company is actively working to promote this business. In 1998, Renesas Electronics was the first company in the world to release a system processor for STBs with digital broadcast reception capabilities, and cumulative sales of its STB system processors reached 100 million in February 2011.
The adoption of digital television broadcasting has expanded worldwide, and the popularity of 3D broadcasts and Internet-based content is expected to grow in future. As a result, there is rising demand today for semiconductor devices that combine compatibility with these standards along with support for the latest video formats. At the same time, increasing demand for affordably priced products such as set top boxes and Internet-capable TVs is anticipated in emerging economies that are experiencing rapid growth.
The EMMA3SE/P SoC is the successor to the EMMA3SL/P SoC, released in 2009, and responds to the demand described above. In addition to being suitable for STBs providing H.264 HD viewing capabilities only, it is targeted at high-volume segments such as the market for H.264 HD DVR products, including models with built-in hard disk drives. Additionally, the software that was used for the previous EMMA3SL/P SoC is compatible with the EMMA3SE/P SoC.
Key features of the EMMA3SE/P
(1) Advanced process node and optimized pin count for the industry’s smallest package
The EMMA3SE/P SoC supports digital broadcast and H.264 HD decoding. It uses a 40-nanometer (nm) process and a 16-bit DDR3 memory interface to reduce the pin count by about one-third compared with the earlier EMMA3SL/P from Renesas Electronics. This enables the use of a package measuring only 17 mm × 17 mm, the smallest in the industry, making it possible for system manufacturers to design more compact STB products and reduce the overall system cost by using a smaller printed circuit board (PCB). The EMMA3SE/P and the EMMA3SL/P SoCs both have the same pin configuration. This makes it easy for a manufacturer to develop HD and SD products based on a common hardware platform.
(2) Support for a wide range of video formats
In addition to compatibility with MPEG2, MPEG4 AVC, DivX™, VC-1, WMV, and the Chinese standard AVS provided by the earlier EMMA3SL/P, the EMMA3SE/P adds support for H.264 MVC for 3-D TV broadcasts as well as formats such as VP6 and Sorenson Spark for IP broadcasts and content streamed over the Internet.
(3) Enhanced security features to prevent unauthorized reception
In recognition of the importance of copyright protection, the EMMA3SE/P SoC supports the latest specifications of the major security vendors worldwide to protect against signal piracy. Distributors of paid broadcast content can use the EMMA3SE/P to develop STBs that provide a high level of security.
Renesas Electronics plans to promote the EMMA3SE/P in China, where satellite HD TV broadcasting is scheduled to start in FY2011. In emerging markets for digital broadcasting, such as India, Africa and Russia, Renesas Electronics will promote sales of the EMMA3SL2/LP because H.264 SD is expected to become the dominant broadcast standard.
In future, Renesas Electronics will add the R-Home S Series of STB SoCs to further enhance and extend its home multimedia product range.