Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sigma Samples Media Processor with Dual Decoding of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2

Sigma Designs has begun sampling its new SMP8634 media processor, designed for IPTV set-top boxes and high-definition DVD players. The device represents a milestone for media processors in that it not only decodes H.264 (AVC), VC-1 and MPEG-2, but also supports multi-stream decoding of any format, up to the equivalent of two simultaneous high-definition streams, along with full-screen graphics.

"Sigma has worked closely with some of the largest network operators, set-top box manufacturers, and consumer electronics companies to develop a media processor that meets the needs of next generation IPTV services and high-definition DVD players," said Ken Lowe, VP of strategic marketing. "In the coming months, our top-tier customer announcements will demonstrate the SMP8634's market acceptance."

In the years ahead, Sigma said it expects to see a digital media duopoly shared by two new video codecs: VC-1, a SMPTE specification based on Microsoft's Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9), and H.264, a shared specification from ITU and MPEG associations, also known as AVC (advanced video codec) or MPEG-4 part 10. Moving forward, VC-1 and H.264 appear destined to equally share the role as next generation digital media standards.

Key features of Sigma's SMP8634 media processor include:

  • Video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), VC-1 (WMV9), MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2) with multiple streams, up to the equivalent of two high-definition streams.

  • High performance graphics acceleration with bit-BLT, raster operations, vector font rendering, JPEG decode acceleration and line drawing functions.

  • Audio decoding capability for Dolby Digital, WMA, WMA Pro, AAC, and MPEG audio layers I, II and III (MP3) and other audio standards.

  • Content security management with on-chip secure processor, flash memory, and DRM engines for high speed payload decryption of AES, DES, triple-DES, RC4, CSS, DVB-CSA and Multi-2.

  • Advanced display processing capabilities, including multi-plane architecture with advanced scaling, motion adaptive de-interlacing, and image composition with pixel-based alpha blending and colorimetry and image control features.

  • An array of video output options including HDMI/HDCP digital video, plus analog component and separate NTSC/PAL encoder with analog composite and S-video outputs.

  • Single-chip solution with on-chip CPU, unified memory controller, Ethernet 10/100 controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, IDE controller and general purpose IO.

See also