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Date: 20-12-10

MIPS based SoC for high performance HD 3DTV Set top box design

Broadcom is sampling a SoC chip for HD set-top box (STB) video gateway. The new chip made at 40nm node CMOS silicon tech packs more logic elements to enhance performance. The new chip BCM7422 integrates 1.3 GHz multi-threaded MIPS processor core with H.264/MPEG Scalable Video Coding (SVC), and Multiview Video Coding (MVC) standards for enabling 1080p60/50 content distribution and full-resolution HD 3DTV. Also packed in the chip is 1G pixel per second OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphic processor for accelerating the graphics data. The MoCA and DLNA support is also provided in the chip. The BCM7422 is touted by Broadcom as the industry's first STB SoC to feature the MPEG industry standard, SVC, that supports full-resolution HD 3DTV, and also enables a 40 percent bandwidth savings for backward-compatible 1080p60/50 sports content distribution to new and legacy STBs.

The key specification highlights:

BRCM 5000 MIPS-based applications processor with 3000 DMIPS of applications processing performance.
Features an additional 3000 DMIPS (total of 6000 DMIPS) of multiple high-performance sub-system processors and hardware supporting maximum bandwidth media center services including security termination and transcription, broadcast video to IP encapsulation, and multi-stream connected home IP content distribution.

The 400 DMIPS capable integrated MoCA home networking processor sub-system and available DLNA server/player software stack supports multi-room DVR services for five or more MoCA-based IP STB client devices.
The BCM7422 also features a customized high performance (430MHz) VLIW (very long instructional word) DSP (digital signal processing) used mainly for audio processing. The DSP is also available to off-load the CPU for programming to support any video Codec and other miscellaneous signal processing applications.
Supported by STB software applications including Adobe Flash Platform for TV, Webkit HMTL 5.0, Java, Qt, DLNA 1.5, and DirectFB application libraries.
Unique HD FastRTV channel change acceleration technology that improves channel change speeds by up to 500 percent.
Supports the latest, advanced security and conditional access technologies including CableCard, Conax, DTCP-IP, Intertrust, Irdeto, Latens, Microsoft Playready, Nagra, NDS, and Verimatrix.
Broadcom's BCM7421 HD STB SoC includes the same functionality as the BCM7422, but does not integrate MoCA and is targeted to address non-MoCA deployments.

If you would like compare other options available in selecting 3D HD STB SoC, check the STi7108 Advanced HD AVC decoder with 3D graphics acceleration from ST Microelectronics and SMP8656 Secure Media Processor from Sigma Designs. SMP8656 is a close comparison to this new broadcom's chip. Another close comparison can be also made to XCode 4210 system-on-a-chip from Canada based ViXS.

Find more details on SMP8656 at http://www.sigmadesigns.com/products.php?id=25
STi7108's details can be found at http://www.st.com/internet/imag_video/product/248829.jsp
XCode 4210's details can be found at http://www.vixs.com/xcode4200.php

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