IP Network-Compatible Reference Board Enables Easy Network Connectivity and Content Consumption for Multiple-Room, Multiple-Screen Home Usage

January 10, 2012

TOKYO, January 10, 2012 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the development of an ultra-compact reference board that can be used as an IP network-compatible High Definition set-top box (STB) solution. The new reference board adds cloud features to non connected TVs, enabling multi-room content distribution (home content distribution), both of which are expected to achieve wide adoption in the near future.

Renesas began supplying the new reference board to partner companies today and plans to submit business proposals to those companies offering content distribution services and manufacturers of consumer products.

With the adoption of worldwide digital TV broadcasting in recent years, Internet-based video distribution and web services are expected to grow in popularity. At the same time, the number of devices capable of connecting to the cloud to enable consumption of internet-based video and content distribution services is increasing. Multi-room distribution and multi-screen setups within the home are also gaining in popularity, as they allow users to consume broadcast and video content more comfortably and conveniently. This trend is also generating demand for increased interoperability between TV sets and mobile devices such as tablets.

For many years, Renesas has been offering system-on-chip (SoC) products for STB applications requiring the processing of multimedia content. Leveraging its technology and expertise in this area, Renesas has developed an STB SoC product that combines high-performance and high integration, mounted on an ultra-compact STB reference board as an STB solution that will complement and help accelerate the trend toward cloud-based media consumption on multiple connected devices in multiple locations.

Key features of the new IP network-compatible STB reference board:

The new reference board supports Full-HD quality 1920 × 1080/30 progressive (1080/30p) content. It also provides several features that allow the reference board to achieve an 88-percent reduction in size, a 170-percent boost in performance, and a 25-percent decrease in power consumption in comparison with Renesas' existing reference boards.

(1) Ultra-compact size

Measuring only 6.5 centimeters (cm) × 2.1 cm × 1.1 cm, the reference board offers portability and flexibility. Users can move it around the house and use it with multiple devices, simply connecting it to a TV or other HDMI® or MHL™ compatible screen device to enjoy content distributed via the Internet or by a service provider, content recorded from broadcasts, or home videos. The Renesas SoC's power efficiency enables the compact size and also makes it possible to build lower cost STB systems.

(2) MHL and HDMI interfaces

The reference board supports two kinds of audio and video (AV) output: MHL (mobile high-definition link) and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface). The MHL version can be plugged directly into the MHL interface of a TV or other device, making it even more convenient to enjoy video content.

(3) An SoC combining low-power consumption and an ARM® multicore CPU, HD content playback, graphics processing, and advanced functionality including security functions

A high-resolution SoC is mounted on the reference board, enabling high-performance processing with low power consumption. The SoC is built around the dual core ARM Cortex™-A9 with the NEON™ media extension. It also incorporates an on-chip AV engine capable of decoding HD content, which allows playback of full-HD quality of 1920 × 1080 pixels/30 progressive (1080/30p) in multiple formats such as H.264, MPEG4, and VC-1. In addition, low-power technology delivers high-performance processing and high power efficiency. The 2-D/3-D graphics engine makes it possible to implement a user interface with advanced functionality. Finally, the SoC delivers sophisticated content protection and security functions.

The reference board also supports Wi-Fi, making it easy for users to connect devices such as tablets that have wireless networking capabilities. With this flexibility, Renesas' new reference board contributes widely to the implementation and expansion of various network systems including the cloud, multi-room, multi-screen, internet video distribution, and web services (electronic program guides (EPG), content searching and recommendations, social networking services (SNS), etc.) paradigm of tomorrow, while also providing enhanced convenience and reduced system cost.

Utilizing the new reference board, Renesas intends to collaborate with partners to develop cloud-compatible STB solutions that contribute further to the realization of a smart society combining convenience and eco-friendliness.

Refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of the new reference board.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.

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