Conexant Introduces World’s First Family of H.264-Compliant HDTV Semiconductor Solutions; Next-Generation Decoders Significantly Improve Bandwidth Utilization
Conexant Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNXT), a worldwide leader in semiconductor solutions for broadband communications, enterprise networks and the digital home, today introduced a family of next-generation video decoders for high-definition digital broadcast television systems. The CX2418X is the world’s first family of decoders compliant with the MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC)/H.264 standard, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10. This technology allows digital broadcast TV service providers to improve bandwidth utilization, enabling the cost-effective delivery of a wider range of video, voice, and data broadcast programming. H.264 compression provides greater recording capacity on set-top boxes (STBs) with personal video recording capabilities, increases the number of high-definition television (HDTV) channels that a broadcaster can transmit, and enables live broadcast-quality video content over the Internet.
“More efficient modulation and compression techniques are essential for bandwidth intensive services such as HDTV,” said Jeff Crosby, vice president of Broadband Media Processing Products for Conexant. “Our new H.264 decoder allows operators to significantly improve current compression rates and bandwidth utilization, enabling them to deliver more content using their existing infrastructure.”
The CX2418X family is the first set of products to result from Conexant’s acquisition of Amphion Semiconductor, Ltd. in June 2004. Amphion’s compression technology, which included MPEG-4, H.264, and Windows Media(R) 9, augments Conexant’s existing multimedia expertise and MPEG-2 video semiconductor offerings.
MPEG is a set of international digital video and audio compression standards and file formats developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG), and is one of the enabling technologies for broadband multimedia delivery. There are three major MPEG standards: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codecs provide compression performance that delivers more than 50 percent greater efficiency than MPEG-2. This allows service providers to maximize bandwidth usage and efficiently deliver sophisticated programs containing audio, video, text, graphics and interactivity to their subscribers. The technology has gained wide support in satellite TV, IP video, video telephony, HD DVD and wireless consumer electronics applications, and is emerging as the next major technology of choice for high-definition video transmission and storage applications.
Shipments of video-enabled mobile handsets, DVD players and recorders, and set-top boxes are predicted to drive this growth. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoding chips are also expected to be used by broadcasters, content producers and consumers to digitize and compress MPEG-compliant video and audio content. H.264 decoders will be incorporated in set-top boxes, video players and personal computers to decompress previously encoded MPEG video and audio content.
About the CX2418X Family
The CX2418X family is based on the high-performance ARM926EJ-S core. The decoders implement the MPEG-4 AVC standard, including both main profile and high profile up to level 4.0, with support for all broadcast formats and resolutions up to 1920 by 1080. A standard-definition decoding version of the device is also offered.
Conexant offers a comprehensive suite of digital STB components and systems solutions for worldwide satellite, terrestrial and cable entertainment broadcasting networks. The company’s product offering includes silicon tuners, satellite demodulators, MPEG audio and video decoders, broadband cable and DSL modems, and dial-up modems for back-channel applications. Complete reference designs that help manufacturers reduce cost and speed time-to-market are also available, bundled with a range of operating systems, middleware, drivers and development tools.
Pricing and Availability
Samples of the CX24180 are available now, with volume production for the complete family of devices scheduled for the second quarter of 2005. The chips are housed in a 268-pin chip array ball grid array (CABGA) package and priced at $20 each in quantities of 10,000.
Conexant’s innovative semiconductor solutions are driving broadband communications, enterprise networks and digital home networks worldwide. The company has leveraged its expertise and leadership position in modem technologies to enable more Internet connections than all of its competitors combined, and continues to develop highly integrated silicon solutions for broadband data and media processing networks.
Key products include client-side xDSL and cable modem solutions, home network processors, broadcast video encoders and decoders, digital set-top box components and systems solutions, and dial-up modems. Conexant’s suite of networking components includes a leadership portfolio of IEEE 802.11a/b/g-compliant WLAN chipsets, software and reference designs, as well as solutions for applications based on HomePlug(SM) and HomePNA(TM). The company also offers a complete line of asymmetric and symmetric DSL central office solutions, which are used by service providers worldwide to deliver broadband data, voice, and video over copper telephone lines.
Conexant is a fabless semiconductor company that recorded more than $900 million in revenues in fiscal year 2004. The company has approximately 2,400 employees worldwide, and is headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif. To learn more, please visit us at www.conexant.com.
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