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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 20, 2009

Broadcom Intros Low-Power Cable STB Receivers

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

Broadcom Corporation, a company that specializes in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, reportedly launched two new cable set-top box system-on-a-chip solutions to address the growing demand for digital cable services in China.
The two solutions – the BCM7003 interactive two-way standard definition cable solution (with 10/100 Ethernet and USB 2.0 DVR functionality) and the BCM7004 SD basic cable solution – come with integrated high performance Digital Video Broadcasting/Cable cable tuner developed in 65 nanometer technology.
They also come with integrated advanced security and sophisticated power management, which allows manufacturers to develop next generation, cost effective and power efficient STBs.
Broadcom (News - Alert) says this type of integrated DVB-C Tuner will become available in cable STBs for the first time, ever, in the industry.
With increasing demand for new STB technology and as cable operators continue to upgrade their networks for two-way operation – which will eventually allow them to offer advanced services such as VoD, DVR and Internet browsing – the set-top box revenue is stated to improve in China, as reported by In-Stat (News - Alert) market research.
To tap this opportunity, Broadcom has announced these two single-chip solutions, which are targeted for the digital cable TV market in China, as well as supporting worldwide cable standards for the world’s set-top box markets including India, Europe, Latin America, South America and Asia.
Both the BCM7003 and BCM7004 come with advanced security capabilities and feature a toolkit of security components to meet a wide range of smart card-based and card-less conditional access system requirements. The chip solutions are said to be permanently factory-programmed with a unique identification and security configuration where they can be managed.
Also, Broadcom said that the new STB solutions include advanced power management features that reduce power to less than one-tenth of a watt in standby mode while complying with energy-efficient standards including those outlined in the European Code of Conduct.
The BCM7003 features USB connectivity, and in conjunction with Broadcom’s DVR software, is capable of offering cost effective DVR applications utilizing an external USB hard disk drive. The BCM7004 has the same features and functionality as the BCM7003 but does not include Ethernet and USB connectivity, clarified the company.
Both the BCM7003 and BCM7004 include an MPEG-2 digital video broadcasting-compliant transport processor with advanced section filtering, an MPEG-2 video decoder, a Dolby AC3/MPEG-2 audio decoder, a pair of analog audio outputs and a single NTSC/PAL video encoder with analog output.
“We have developed the most integrated and cost effective solutions in support of China’s burgeoning digital cable market that is quickly migrating to two-way networking services and interactive applications,” said John Gleiter, senior director of Product Marketing for Broadcom’s Set-Top Box line of business.
“Featuring Ethernet, USB 2.0 connectivity and an industry first integrated DVB-C tuner, our BCM7003 enables STB manufacturers and operators to realize the financial and user benefits of two-way network upgrades in China through the deployment of interactive services over cable,” Gleiter said.
The BCM7003 and BCM7004 cable STB receivers are stated to be available shortly and prices of the same is made available upon request to set-top box manufacturers.

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Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan