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Date: 21-01-11

ST's new STB chip supports NDS, VideoGuard and DVB-CSA3 descrambler security

ST Microelectronics has announced it is the first to sample STB decoder chips providing support for next-generation security and content protection technologies that include the NDS VideoGuard Security Kernel and DVB-CSA3 descrambler system.

The STi7108 decoder IC handles the media stream from broadcast, Internet or personal content. The STi7108 combine 3D graphics, Ethernet, USB and e-SATA interfaces to connect Internet devices, DVR storage or external Flash or hard-disk (HDD) drives.

The NDS Security Kernel is the latest generation of embedded security solutions from NDS designed to protect media content and operator services with future-proof technology to address changing market needs. The security kernel, an element of the NDS VideoGuard content protection solution, features the increased levels of security required to enable new digital media marketplaces with solutions such as Control Word Protection and the ability to enable DRM technologies.

In addition to the NDS Security Kernel, the STi7108 will also provide support for DVB-CSA3, which is the latest generation of broadcast descrambler specifications licensed by ETSI. This new specification is designed to replace DVB-CSA2 and provide protection against the next generation of attacks against descramblers that are likely to become viable in a few years time.

"To maintain the level of market-leading security that we pride ourselves on providing to our customers you have to consider the end-to-end solution, and for us an integral part of that solution is integrated on the chipset," said Martin Kaufmann, Vice President, Consumer Device Platforms, NDS "The integration of the NDS Security Kernel on ST chipsets ensures that our customers are able to introduce the best possible solution for their platform with industry leading partners such as ST."

"ST is one of the first to offer set-top-box chips implementing the next-generation NDS Security Kernel , enabling the delivery of high-value media content and services and complementing the features of best-in-class user experience for consumer equipment based on the STi7108," said Eric Jumelet, Group Vice President for Business Management, Home Video Division, STMicroelectronics. "STi7108 has already been introduced and is the first in ST's third generation of high-definition chips that provide the end user with a really exciting 3D HDTV user experience, thanks to its unprecedented CPU performance allowing smooth web experience, while delivering market-leading energy efficiency due to its low power configurable architecture, and low power manufacturing process."

Volume production of the STi7108 with the NDS VideoGuard Security Kernel and DVB-CSA3 is scheduled to start early in 2011.

Other key features of STi7108 are:

The STi7108 has dual CPU host processors linked to a 256K L2 cache providing up to 3000 DMIPS performance and utilizes the ARM Mali-400 graphics processor to render 3D experience of HD quality.

The STi7108 is able to decode video in industry-standard formats, including H.264, MVC, MPEG2, VC-1 or WMV9 Internet video, and MPEG4 part 2, up to high-definition resolutions 1080p 50/60 simultaneously with 1080i/720p picture-in-picture or mosaic formats. The device has flexible memory-interface options offering dual 32/16-bit LMI DDR2/ DDR3 at 1066MHz.

The device provides inputs for up to six transport streams, and provides full-resolution HD 3DTV over HDMI 1.4 with HDCP copy protection. Support for content sharing, according to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) specification, will also allow use in next-generation HD media players and OTT (Over The Top) set-top boxes.

Together with other integrated processors, including an audio processing subsystem and 2D-graphics handling.

ST says STi7108 allows a significant leap in performance over products currently in mass production, thereby providing increased scope for STB designers to create multimedia value-added features and services to differentiate their products in the marketplace.

Editorial Product Rating: ***(High Value)

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