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July 21, 2009

Silicon Image expands family of HDMI semiconductor IP cores

To simplify device connectivity through HDMI Ethernet Channel and Audio Return Channel

By CBR Staff Writer

Silicon Image has expanded its family of HDMI semiconductor intellectual property (IP) cores to include transmitter and receiver IP cores that incorporate features of the recently announced HDMI Specification Version 1.4.

The company claimed that the new IP cores will support 3D over HDMI, HDMI Ethernet Channel, as well as Audio Return Channel capabilities to offer entertainment experience that brings 3D functionality to the home theatre and simplifies device connectivity.

According to the company, adding HDMI Ethernet Channel functionality allows manufacturers to consolidate the transmission of HD video, audio, data and control into a single HDMI cable for bi-directional communication.

Reportedly, an HDMI Ethernet Channel-enabled device can send and receive data via 100 Mbps ethernet over an HDMI cable by utilising the company’s IP core and the customer’s ethernet transceiver. The Audio Return Channel enables a TV to send audio streams to an HDMI attached audio/video receiver for audio processing and playback from the speaker system.

The company’s transmitter and receiver IP cores incorporating HDMI 1.4 features are also backward compatible with HDMI 1.3 and previous versions of the HDMI specification. The IP cores support 48-bit Deep Color (16 bits per pixel), an HDMI 1.3 feature anticipated for use in audio/video receiver and Blu-ray Disc player applications for rendering colors.

Ron Richter, director of business development at Silicon Image, said: “With the introduction of the new IP cores, Silicon Image continues to demonstrate its HDMI technology leadership. The new HDMI 1.4 features such as 3D over HDMI and HDMI Ethernet Channel have the potential to significantly transform consumer electronics by enabling exceptional connectivity for new personal entertainment technologies like LiquidHD for home theatre applications.”

The company’s LiquidHD technology is a suite of protocols that runs over IP networks such as those that include HDMI Ethernet Channel functionality. Designed to connect TVs, consumer electronics devices, personal computers, portable media devices, and home theatre into a network, LiquidHD technology reportedly allows consumers to access their digital content from LiquidHD-enabled source device on any LiquidHD-enabled display in the home.

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