Architecture and Implementation of Multi-Processor SoCs for Advanced Set-Top Box and Digital TV Systems

Santanu Dutta

Movie-quality picture and CD-quality sound are really only the tip of the iceberg because, even though these are the primary benefits from a consumer perspective, digital TV (DTV) technology promises much more. For example, DTV can be used to transmit large amounts of 'non-television' data into the home, which may be accessible by using the computer or the television set. This opens up the possibility of virtually a limitless range of enhanced services such as video telephony, video e-mail, web browsing, games, subtitles, captioning, and data-casting, to name a few. Moreover, new applications and services are invented almost every day. Clearly, in order to support these emerging services in an evolving market that is still a bit uncertain about and debating over format and content, it is necessary to implement and provide customers with a solution that is very flexible. This talk focuses on the design of programmable hardware that provides such flexible solutions. Starting with an introduction to the current trends in system-on-chip (SoC) designs, the talk details the architecture, implementation, verification, and validation of two highly-integrated, programmable, media-processing SoCs that have been designed at Philips for digital television and advanced set-top box applications. Some of the challenges faced and solutions devised are also discussed.

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