SGS Thomson Microelectronics has announced an integrated system for High Definition Television (HDTV), which combines an MPEG-2 decoder with a display and format converter onto one chip. The more cost-effective offering is based on memory reduction allowing full HDTV pictures to be decoded and displayed with only 64 Megabits of external memory. Samples of the chip are available and will be in full production in the fourth quarter of 1998. Designed for use in HDTV and other digital TV receivers, set top boxes and PCs, the STi7000 was developed in collaboration with Thomson Multimedia, a strategic partner with whom SGS Thomson shares a joint design center in Grenoble, France. A number of customers have already produced prototype boards based on the device and demonstrated HDTV receivers using the STi7000 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and at the Windows Hardware Conference (WinHEC) in Orlando, Florida in late March. The one-chip offering incorporates all of the 18 video formats defined by the ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) and Grand Alliance specifications. STi7000 can support video rates of up to 1920 x 1088 x 30Hz interlaced or 1280 x 720 x 60Hz progressive. Built in 0.35 micron HCMOS6 technology, the STi7000 also includes interfaces for a host microcontroller, local SDRAM, standard or high definition video output and D1 digitized video input.
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