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PC TV processors support Intervideo's WinCinema, media center PCs

Posted: 18 Dec 2006  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TV processor  processor  processors  NXP Semiconductors  multimedia processor 

Claiming to offer new levels of performance and system integration, NXP Semiconductors introduced last week a pair of PC TV processors for desktop and notebook multimedia PCs.

According to NXP, the new 90nm devices, designated SAA7164E and SAA7163E, support multimedia solutions including Intervideo's WinCinema, media center PCs, Microsoft Windows XP and the Windows Vista OS.

In a statement released by NXP, Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst for multimedia, broadband and consumer content at market research firm In-Stat, said the retail market for PC TV tuner cards will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 42.6 percent, reaching $3.7 billion worldwide by 2009.

"This rapid predicted growth demonstrates that the digital home is quickly becoming a connected home," Kaufhold said. "People want to experience entertainment anywhere in the home, not just on the TV, but on their PC as well."

The SAA7164E supports dual-channel TV as well as radio capture and streaming capabilities with hardware AV compression, enabling independent watch, record and advanced personal video recorder (PVR) features, according to NXP. The SAA7163E is described as a single-channel, cost-effective derivative of SAA7164E.

The dual-channel SAA7164E alleviates the "unhappy family" scenario, enabling consumers to watch one channel while simultaneously recording another, according to Jerome Morris, an NXP marketing manager. Both devices feature hardware-based encoding support MPEG-1, -2 and -4, according to Morris, capabilities that previous PC TV solutions from NXP did not offer. Several customers are already integrating the new devices into products that will be available during the second half of 2007, according to Morris, who declined to name the customers.

The SAA7164E includes two AV decoders, each supporting worldwide analog broadcast, TV stereo sound, and FM radio and Radio Data System decoding, according to NXP. The device includes an adaptive 3-D comb filter including 3-D noise reduction for each channel, the company said. The PC TV processor also supports global reception of all digital broadcast standards by streaming dual transport streams, allowing combo and hybrid analog/digital reception configurations, NXP said.

The SAA7164E's two independent hardware compression engines reduce the host CPU load and generate dual-compressed AV streams for time shifting, recording, networking and downloading files to portable media players, NXP said. In addition to MPEG-1, -2 and -3, the device supports various video compression standards such as Windows Media Video and DiVX, according to NXP, as well as audio compression standards such as AAC, MPG1L2, MP3, Windows Media Audio and AC-3. The AV compression can either output DVD-compliant program stream or transport stream, NXP said.

The SAA7164E also includes two IF demodulators, supporting small form-factor and cost-effective system designs based on NXP's line of silicon tuners, the company said. The SAA7164E includes a PCI Express 1.1-compliant bus interface for desktop and notebook PCs, including mini-card and Express Card form factors, NXP said. Subsequent derivatives of the SAA7164E will include support for additional bus interfaces, including PCI and USB, NXP said.

Samples of the new devices are available now, with volume shipments planned for the first quarter of 2007, NXP said. Pricing for the devices is set to be less than $40 each in quantities of 10,000 or more, NXP said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times




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