As the center of home entertainment, TV has become a lively market in recent years: high-definition flat-Panel TVs have entered the homes of ordinary people from “luxury” a few years ago; From super cool and super dazzling concept products to “big street goods” that are supplied in batches in stores; LED TVs, smart TVs, various concepts emerge one after another… Even the global giants of Internet and portable products, Google and Apple are reluctant to give up home-based products. In the related market of flat-panel TVs in entertainment centers, digital TV products, Apple TV and Google TV, have also been launched respectively.
After the hustle and bustle is quiet, it is a piece of chicken feathers – whether 3D TV is lacking in content or practical, it will take time to truly popularize; the topic of triple play has returned to calm after waves of hype; the first five months of this year Flat-screen TV sales have begun to show negative growth… And Apple and Google, which are hot and have countless fans, seem to be unable to play “x TV”. The current market heat has made the two giants temporarily “high”.
During this period, the transformation of high-definition digital TV led by the radio and television system was quietly launched in developed areas such as Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai, and a huge market for high-definition set-top boxes was being unveiled. At present, many manufacturers including Fujitsu semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Broadcom and others have increased their marketing efforts in the high-definition set-top box market. Among them, after Fujitsu launched the second high-definition set-top box solution MB86H61 last year, it has recently cooperated with Shenzhen Zhuangzhuang Network Co., Ltd., a leading digital TV service platform and application software provider with extensive business cooperation in the domestic radio and television system, to launch Fujitsu-based The semiconductor cost-effective two-way HD chip MB86H61 and Robust Network’s industry-leading iPanel3.0 middleware platform are integrated and customized solutions, and the two powerhouses are trying to establish China’s high-definition conversion market.
Low cost – boost high-definition turnaround
“This year will be the start year of high-definition conversion, and we expect that the Chinese high-definition set-top box market will reach 6 million units throughout the year.” At the program promotion meeting of “High-Definition World ‘Core’ Set sail” jointly held by Fujitsu Semiconductor and Robust Network , Fujitsu Semiconductor (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Asia Pacific Marketing Vice President Zheng Guowei pointed out, “Fujitsu’s goal is to exceed 20% of the market share.” As a solution provider that occupied more than half of the market at the beginning of China’s digital TV set-top box market, Fujitsu Semiconductor came back with a high-definition set-top box decoding chip solution after a period of silence. The company has successively launched MB86H60 and MB86H61 series of high-definition set-top box decoding chip solutions. The company’s high-definition set-top box chips have shipped more than 500,000 units in the mainland market.
Figure 1: MB86H61 provides a cost-effective platform for HD full rotation.
“Fujitsu MB86H61 is mainly launched for the popular two-way high-definition set-top box market. It is positioned as a popular set-top box product, which is the key to realizing high-definition conversion at present.” Xu Jiahong, general manager of Robust Network Co., Ltd. pointed out, “The current cost of high-definition set-top boxes is basically The cost of standard definition set-top boxes in 2007, the year when set-top boxes were popularized, can also be achieved. The low-cost MB86H61 can also help manufacturers save at least 20 yuan in additional material costs, which will greatly facilitate high-definition adjustment similar to the overall translation of digital TVs in 2007. change.”
MB86H61 series chips are based on multi-core CPU architecture, which integrates Fujitsu’s unique patented hardware video processor video decoding unit to decode full HD/SD MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1, AVS, FLV, MKV and other videos The audio decoding unit adopts high-performance ARC725TM (594DMIPS) to support DD, DD+, AAC, DRA and other advanced audio formats. Therefore, the ARM11 core main CPU of the chip will be used to process application programs, and its performance will have enough margin to fully ensure the smooth and smooth operation of the system. “The independent hardware graphics acceleration function also makes it easier to support a rich graphical user interface and high-definition picture Display, thereby greatly improving the user experience.” said Huang Zili, director of business development at Fujitsu Semiconductor, “The chip is capable of decoding full HD AVS video. It is especially worth mentioning that the AVS decoding supported by most of the high-definition chips on the market is still in the standard-definition stage.”
The integration level of MB86H61 series chips is further improved. In addition, MB86H61 has enhanced support for IP interaction, including Ethernet MAC and two-way USB MAC/PHY, as well as HDMI, eSATA, etc., making the peripheral circuit of the set-top box motherboard simpler, and can support multi-channel serial flash memory and single-chip 256MB DDR2 RAM. Therefore, unlike the multi-layer PCB circuit boards used in most high-definition set-top boxes, the MB86H61 can easily realize the set-top box design of a two-layer PCB motherboard, and the cost of the PCB alone can save about two dollars compared with the currently commonly used four-layer board, which further reduces the overall machine cost. BOM cost. In order to better meet the needs of the local market segment in China, Fujitsu Semiconductor launched the MB86H61 series chips and further refined them into three categories: the basic type with more cost advantages – MB86H615; the MB86H610 which emphasizes interactive functions; MB86H611.
Figure 2: The MB86H61 hardware platform has strong audio, video and graphics processing capabilities.
Low power consumption – reduce the cost of use and improve satisfaction
Recently, a report has attracted a lot of attention. The Natural Resources Defense Council of the United States pointed out that the set-top box is the largest energy “vampire” in the family – the power consumption of the set-top box in the United States in 2010 was about 27 billion 10,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and $3 billion in electricity bills for consumers.
The high energy consumption of the set-top box not only brings about wasted power, but also brings more other problems. In the feedback from the set-top box users, the problems such as excessive temperature and the resulting crash are very concentrated. Many set-top boxes can feel the case hot after 20 minutes of use, even in standby conditions. The high temperature caused by the high power consumption of the set-top box brings insecurity to users and increases electricity bills, and the problem that is often accompanied by high temperature is the frequent crash of the set-top box.
“The working power consumption of the set-top box using MB86H61 can achieve the EU’s standby power consumption requirement of less than 0.5W, and the green energy consumption requirement of less than 5W during operation. The working power consumption of the MB86H61 chip itself is about 1.2 watts, and the standby power consumption is about 10mW.” Huang Zili He pointed out, “When using the MB86H61 chip, the set-top box manufacturer can completely discard the heat sink used in the HD set-top box.” Fujitsu Semiconductor’s unique patented technology in power management has achieved the low power consumption advantage of the MB86H61, which is embedded inside the chip Fujitsu Semiconductor patented intelligent power management module (this technology is widely used in Samsung Galaxy SⅡ series mobile phones and many well-known brand notebook computers).
In fact, except for Fujitsu Semiconductor’s MB86H61 and MB86H60 chips, all core chips of HD set-top boxes use radiators to ensure the proper temperature for stable operation of the chips, and even a small radiator size will affect the performance of the whole machine. Calculated at the cost of at least a few cents for a radiator, the low power consumption of the chip can further save the material cost of the sensitive set-top box under the condition of high-definition turnaround, as well as the assembly and storage costs brought thereby. And more importantly, the product can thus achieve a more compact and flat design, eliminating the user’s prejudice against the high power consumption of the set-top box and improving the user experience.
Fujitsu+iPanel——Powerful backstage leveraging the whole turn
“With the popularization of two-way interactive high-definition applications, the application and functional requirements of set-top boxes continue to increase, requiring the main chip to quickly respond, support, and even tailor-made. Based on the MB86H61 chip set-top box manufacturers only need about 6 weeks. The productization of a specific operator.” Zheng Guowei said, “Fujitsu Semiconductor has established an engineering team of more than 100 people in Shanghai and Chengdu, and the MB86H61 itself has realized the localization of the chip design and the localization of the application design, and the local FAE supports The team can quickly meet the needs of customers.” In addition, because the MB86H61 adopts the open ARM core and Linux operating system, users can use a common compilation environment without spending a lot of cost and manpower.
Figure 3: MB86H61+iPanel3.0 meets the diverse needs of customers and operations.
However, the special operation pattern of China’s digital cable TV is doomed to the complexity of the set-top box market. The complete hardware platform and application development support of chip providers are usually difficult to meet the customized needs of many operators in various regions for set-top box equipment. Local radio and television have different definitions for the business of high-definition two-way set-top boxes, and the front-end systems are different. How to provide customized products for local operators quickly and at low cost is a practical problem that set-top box manufacturers must face. If there is a third-party technical solution provider that can provide customized complete solutions for different operators, it can undoubtedly help solve the confusion of manufacturers.
“Robust Network is to play such a role as a technology integrator, as a technical bridge between chip providers, set-top box manufacturers and operators.” Xu Jiahong said, “Domestic high-definition conversion requires a set of functions that meet the current operator’s functional requirements and It is a cost-competitive solution, and the comprehensive comparative advantages of MB86H61’s cost and performance have contributed to our cooperation, and I believe that MB86H61+iPanel3.0 will become the core solution for high-definition conversion.”
Robust Network is a technology service provider and software provider focusing on the development of digital TV service platforms and application software. As the largest domestic digital TV platform and software provider with extensive cooperation with China’s domestic radio and television systems, the company’s iPanel series products have been put into practical commercial use by operators all over the country, and the coverage of iPanel digital TV software With more than 70 million users, the market share ranks first in the industry. The iPanel 3.0 developed by the company is the most mature and stable digital TV value-added service platform on the market. It has strong multimedia performance and can easily support the rich digital TV value-added applications on the market, and fully meet the needs of future services and applications. Access expansion requirements. At present, iPanel 3.0 has been successfully commercialized on the platforms of Hangzhou Wasu, Beijing Gehua and other operators.
Robust Network has successfully integrated iPanel3.0 middleware on MB86H61 and launched a complete and mature solution, which supports mainstream functions commonly used by operators, such as iPanel3.0 unidirectional, VOD, IVM, SSL, etc. Unique requirements provide more customized designs to help manufacturers easily realize productization for a specific operator.
3D set-top box – chip technology and application need to be strengthened
Unlike the public who are keen on the topic of 3D cool applications, Xu Jiahong is not optimistic about the current 3D set-top box solutions and applications on the market. “If you can’t run 3D games, why do you need 3D functions?” Xu Jiahong pointed out. He believes that there are still many fundamental problems in 3D applications in the current set-top box solution. First, the frame rate is not enough. Second, the current chip architecture is not suitable for 3D applications.
Zheng Guowei basically agrees with Xu Jiahong’s point of view: “3D applications based on set-top boxes are not mature enough, which is why Fujitsu has not launched 3D solutions.” However, it is obviously impossible for Fujitsu not to plan 3D applications, “We will launch ARM-based applications in the second half of the year. A9 core, a series of high-definition chips that integrate Imagination 3D video technology and high-end set-top box solutions for future applications, are directly produced with 40nm advanced technology. In the future, Fujitsu Semiconductor’s high-end set-top box solutions will continue to seek the first high-end set-top box solution with strong application development and technical support capabilities. The three companies work together to make applications including 3D games and video functions truly successful.”
After successively launching MB86H61 for low-cost high-definition set-top box chips and MB86M1x for Internet TV set-top box chips (using 40nm advanced technology, ARM Cortex A9 dual-core, 1GHz main frequency, and embedded Android operating system), Fujitsu Semiconductor’s set-top box solutions have formed a low-cost standard-definition set-top box solution. Universal, high-definition basic type to a full range of Internet set-top boxes that widely support Internet video content and have strong interactive functions, and the launch of the 3D solution will cover the needs of the future high-end set-top box market. The problem has been fully improved, which deserves the attention of the industry.
The Links: LMS430HF01 AT070TN07-VD