Conexant Creates Reference Designs for Cable Set-Top Box

Conexant Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNXT), a worldwide leader in semiconductor solutions for broadband communications and the digital home, announced the availability of two complete, OpenCable(TM)-compliant cable set-top box (STB) reference designs for high-definition (HD) personal video recording (PVR) applications. The comprehensive reference designs are based on the company’s recently announced CX2445X DOCSIS 2.0+ and EuroDOCSIS 2.0+ cable modem integrated circuits, and can be configured with either Conexant’s CX24500 single-channel or CX2427X dual-channel HD MPEG-2/H.264/VC-1 video decoder. The highly integrated solutions also include core software and drivers that enable developers to quickly develop middleware and innovative applications for next-generation cable STBs.

“In today’s fast-moving marketplace, time-to-market often determines a product’s success, particularly in rapidly growing applications such as personal video recording,” said Lewis Brewster, executive vice president and general manager of Conexant’s Broadband Media Processing business. “Our new reference designs provide manufacturers with the ability to shorten product development cycles, which can provide them with a competitive edge that may translate to greater market share down the road.”

The reference designs include support for OpenCable applications platform (OCAP(TM)), a middleware software layer specification that enables manufacturers to develop products that will run on any cable television system in North America, independent of the STB receiver hardware or operating system software. In addition, an embedded processor enables advanced hardware security features, and supports major industry security standards including downloadable conditional access system (DCAS(TM)) and multi-stream CableCARD(TM) (M-Card(TM)). The reference designs also support major operating systems such as Linux(R).

Conexant’s CX2445X family of DOCSIS 2.0+ front-end cable STB chips feature three demodulators with downstream channel bonding capability, which significantly increases bandwidth capacity. Also included is an integrated out-of-band cable physical layer (PHY), which provides compatibility with legacy U.S. cable systems, and supports Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) standards 55-1 and 55-2.

The reference designs are offered with either Conexant’s CX24500 single-channel video decoder for mass market STB devices with PVR capabilities, or the CX2427X dual-channel device which is capable of decoding two HDTV programs simultaneously for picture-in-picture display, and supporting networked PVR for whole-house video solutions. Both of the decoders support key video compression standards including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC)/H.264, and VC-1.

The CX2427X and CX24500 are the industry’s highest performance dual- and single-video decoders, and are based on a powerful ARM(R) 1176 processor. To further boost performance, the devices include double data rate memory (DDR2) interface with unified memory, an integrated level two (L2) cache, an advanced graphics rendering engine and Jazelle(R) Java hardware accelerator for improved Java performance, and reduced memory foot print.

The video decoders have several integrated features including three USB ports, audio digital-to-analog converters (DACs), multiple video outputs including HD multimedia interface (HDMI) 1.3 with high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) 1.2, a Broadcast Television Systems Committee (BTSC) stereo encoder and channel 3/4 RF modulator, and two Ethernet media access controllers (MACs) with a media independent interface (MII). This enables future expansion for networking technologies such as MoCA, HomePlug(R) A/V, or 802.11 wireless networking. The reference designs also have a serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) interface that facilitates the transfer of data to and from hard disks for PVR applications.

Conexant offers a comprehensive suite of digital set-top components and system solutions for worldwide entertainment and broadcasting networks. The company’s product offering includes silicon tuners, demodulators, MPEG audio and video decoders, and dial-up and DOCSIS modems.

The HD-AVC/DOCSIS references designs are available to qualifying customers.

About Conexant
Conexant’s innovative semiconductor solutions are driving broadband communications 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. Conexant is a fabless semiconductor company that recorded revenues of $970.8 million in fiscal year 2006. The company has approximately 3,200 employees worldwide, and is headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif.

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 802.11-compliant WLAN chipsets, software and reference designs, as well as solutions for applications based on HomePlug(R) 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 registered trademark of Conexant Systems, Inc.