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  1. Technology
February 23, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

San Jose, California-based VLSI Technology Inc has formed a joint venture with Sorep SA, of Chateaubourg, France to develop products for the embryonic digital television market. The equally-owned joint venture is called ComAtlas SA, and was previously a division of Sorep, itself a member of the Dassault Electronics Group. It already has an established set-top controller product line and will continue targeting applications for all versions of digital television, including cable and direct broadcast satellite and terrestrial broadcasting. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. ComAtlas specialises in systems-level development, as well as the three key technologies needed in digital television and wireless applications – forward error correction, digital demodulation and spread spectrum systems and circuits. VLSI will work with ComAtlas to develop the technologies as both standard products and as VLSI-proprietary Functional System Block cells for systems customised to a customer’s individual application. ComAtlas expects to introduce first products in 0.6-micron CMOS this half. Given VLSI Technology’s alliance with Intel Corp on low-power iAPX-86 microprocessors, it seems likely that the set-top boxes will be built around Intel microprocessors, but that is not confirmed.

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