Broadcom announced a new HD-DTA system-on-a-chip (SoC) today, the BCM7574:
Broadcom Chips In For Power-Saving HD DTAs, Web Gateways
Claims Next-Gen Products Can Cut Energy Usage Up to 65% Over Typical Day
Multichannel News - March 12, 2012
"Broadcom is touting its next-generation chips for Internet-enabled cable gateways and HD digital terminal adapters as not only being chock-full of new features -- but also greener than ever.
The chip maker claims its two new system-on-chip solutions, one for gateways and the other for HD DTAs, can reduce energy consumption up to 65% over a 24-hour period. That's thanks to power-management features that put the devices into "stand-by" mode when they're not being actively used.
To date, operators including Comcast have deployed 40 million DTAs with Broadcom chips throughout North America. The relatively low-cost devices are designed to let MSOs eliminate analog TV signals, by converting digital signals to analog outputs.
Broadcom's fifth-generation DTA chip, 40-nanometer EZ-HD DTA system-on-chip, provides twice the performance of the company's previous 65-nm DTA SoC, said Brett Tischler, senior marketing manager for cable set-top boxes at Broadcom.
The BCM7574 chip has more graphics-processing power to be able to render full-featured interactive guides on DTAs, which typically have been limited to displaying the channel number on the screen. The new chip also can enable connectivity for DLNA applications, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which has restricted the kinds of features it allows in DTAs under its integrated-encryption ban.
"It lets operators deploy more advanced user interfaces and more advanced application frameworks to offer more compelling visual experience," Tischler said.
The chip's power-management features are based on a dedicated component that monitors when it can shut down system features.
At full power, an HD DTA will consume under 5 watts, but in standby mode DTAs with the BCM7574 will use less than 100 milliwatts. The new platform supports the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Energy Star 4.0 requirements, according to Broadcom.
An estimated 45 million analog TVs in North America were still in use among cable TV customers at the end of 2011, according to In-Stat Research. "There is still a very large footprint of devices that need to be converted to HD," Tischler said.
As with its previous DTA chips, the BCM7574 is a universal DTA with integrated security for both Cisco Systems and Motorola headend networks. The chip also provides audio-leveling features designed to help operators comply with the Commercial Advertisement Level Mitigation (CALM) Act, which mandates constant volume across commercials, programs and channels."
Broadcom's Press Release:
Broadcom Announces 40nm EZ-HD Digital Transport Adapter Solution
The Light Reading Cable site also has their analysis of Broadcom's new chips:
Broadcom Helps Cable Operators Go OTT
Light Reading Cable - March 12, 2012