Toshiba announces set-top box chip

Toshiba is aiming at the set-top box and digital video disk markets with a new system decoder integrated circuit.

Toshiba is aiming at the set-top box and digital video disk markets with its new system decoder integrated circuit, announced yesterday.

All the functions needed for interactive television are integrated onto the TC81220F chip, officials say, including Toshiba's R3900 MIPS RISC processor core, dedicated MPEG2 video and audio decoder cores, a programmable transport processor, a software modem, synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) controllers, smart card and modem interface, and other peripherals.

"The level of integration we have reached with this device has not been reached before," says Jean-Charles Bouzigues, market development manager at Toshiba. The high degree of integration improves the chip's performance as well as drives the IC cost down to around US$100 per set-top box, Bouzigues says.

Toshiba is not yet announcing customers for the chip, but application areas include direct broadcast satellite, digital video broadcast, digital video disk, digital cable television, and wireless cable. Samples will be available in the first quarter of next year and volume production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter.

Toshiba is on the World Wide Web at http://www.toshiba.com.

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