Broadcom Introduces BCM7043 HD Video, Audio Encoder, Transcoder

Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, announced the industry’s most advanced 65 nanometer (nm) real-time, high definition (HD) encoder/transcoder solution. The new single-chip transcoder enables a wide range of consumer devices, with varying video and audio formats, to share a wide variety of video and audio content while maintaining a high degree of digital rights management and security. The new chip is the foundation for capturing audio and video content and for reconciling disparate video and audio content in cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes, home media centers, portable media players, cell phones and a wide range of entertainment devices for the connected home.

Industry research indicates that there is a strong desire by consumers to easily connect their entertainment devices within a home network. A part of this simple portability challenge is the wide proliferation of disparate video/audio playback devices and a wide variety of incompatible sources of content. As a result, the need has emerged for a fast, efficient, high quality, yet flexible transcoding solution that can change the format, the bit rate and the resolution of audio/video content in real-time.

Announced is the single-chip Broadcom® BCM7043 that solves the industry problem of being able to share non-compatible video and audio content by transcoding (or matching) it to the proper format being used by a particular playback device. It provides the most up-to-date foundational technology for encoding and transcoding content in cable, satellite, IPTV and terrestrial set-top boxes, portable media players, cell phones, home media centers, personal video recorders, digital video recorders, HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc® and universal DVD players/recorders, and personal computers.

The new BCM7043 also provides the encoding and transcoding foundation for future devices that support H.264/AVC, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4SP video compression. Its security features (which are particularly important to content owners), and its real-time high definition media encoding and transcoding capabilities make it ideally suited for home entertainment and network applications. In addition to performing real-time, high definition H.264/AVC, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4SP encoding and transcoding, the BCM7043 is also capable of real-time, simultaneous quad-channel standard definition (SD) encoding and transcoding. Alternatively, the BCM7043 is capable of transcoding SD content to lower resolutions at up to six times faster than real-time.

Designed in a 65 nanometer CMOS process, the BCM7043 enables consumer electronics device manufacturers to add more features, provide portability and offer more flexible product offerings to their service provider customers. As a result, service providers now have a solution that allows them to provide current and future subscribers with advanced services that include more hours of stored programs, as well as the ability to transfer non-compatible video and audio content to various playback devices. Broadcom’s 65nm process provides lower power consumption, smaller footprint size and higher levels of integration and functionality than other CMOS processes.

“The new BCM7043 provides our customers with the industry’s most advanced, highest performing video and audio transcoder solution for set-top box, home media center and digital TV applications,” said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Broadband Communications Group. “With BCM7043 transcoder technology, Broadcom will enable a new generation of product and service offerings that incorporate the ‘seamless mobility’ vision to enable consumers to share and view video and audio content, when and where they want to.”

Technical Information
The BCM7043 incorporates a new and advanced encoding engine that leverages Broadcom’s market leading experience in encoding. Additionally, the BCM7043 utilizes a broad range of in-production capabilities currently found in Broadcom’s set-top box and digital TV SoCs, including an advanced video decoder that supports high definition AVC, MPEG-2, VC-1, MPEG-4, and DVD playback; a security processor; an advanced video pre-processor; and audio codecs that enable the highest performing platform for robust, high quality encoding and transcoding of connected home devices.

Incorporating a host of video and audio encoder and decoder engines, the BCM7043 is able to share non-compatible video and audio content by transcoding them to the proper format required for each device. The key built-in modules include:

  • Video Compression Engine: uncompressed video input is delivered to this encoder engine and converts the sequence of uncompressed video pictures into H.264, AVC, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 compressed video streams.
  • Advanced Video Decoder (AVD): the AVD module decodes compressed video for re-encoding using the video compression subsystem.
  • Advanced Audio Module: the advanced audio module contains a programmable audio processor that supports real-time decode of MPEG-1, Layer-II, Dolby® Digital and Dolby Digital Plus Stereo, DTS, DTS-HD, MP-3 and PCM; and real-time encode of MPEG-1, Layer-II, Dolby Digital, MP-3 and PCM audio formats.
  • Video Input Processor (VIP): the VIP module prepares uncompressed video for encoding and, in conjunction with the video pre-processor, motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF) and digital noise reduction produces excellent video quality and excellent compression efficiency.

The BCM7043 is designed using the 65 nanometer process — the most advanced lithographic node for manufacturing semiconductors in large volumes today — and provides significant benefits over 90 nm and 130 nm processes by enabling lower power consumption, smaller size and higher levels of integration. For Broadcom, the move to the 65 nanometer process technology is changing the competitive landscape because of the breadth and depth of the intellectual property that the company possesses and can integrate into new devices. Without a broad portfolio of market-leading solutions to integrate, competitors are not able to take full advantage of the benefits that these next generation processes provide.

Availability and Pricing
The BCM7043 real-time encoder/transcoder chip is sampling to early access customers. Pricing is available upon request for manufactures of cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes.

About Broadcom’s Broadband Communications Group
Broadcom offers manufacturers a range of broadband communications and consumer electronics SoC’s that enable voice, video and data services over residential wired and wireless networks. These highly integrated silicon solutions continue to enable the most advanced system solutions on the market, which include digital cable, satellite and IP set-top boxes and media servers, broadband modems and residential gateways, high definition and digital televisions, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players, DVD recorders and personal video recorders.

About Broadcom
Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art, system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®. Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2006 revenue of $3.67 billion, and holds over 2,300 U.S. and 1,000 foreign patents, more than 7,100 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video and data. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe.

Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, and the Connecting everything logo are among the trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States, certain other countries and/or the EU. Blu- ray Disc® is a trademark of Sony Corporation. Dolby® is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.