Thomson has developed its first integrated circuits (IC) products for the external market. The global technology corporation, marketing widely recognized Thomson brand consumer electronics in Europe and RCA brand in North America, yesterday announced two reference designs for a complete front-end solution for digital television (DTV) to be sold to other consumer electronics producers.
The demodulator designs, developed by Thomson Silicon Components (TSC), a subsidiary of the company's Technology division, provide the groundwork for integrating two recently introduced DTV front-end IC products into DTVs and set-top boxes.
The complete front-end reference design can be used as a daughter card or can be integrated into a motherboard, and is the first in a series that Thomson is developing to address DTV feature sets. The designs and ICs together enable a variety of DTV feature combinations, including digital and analog terrestrial digital and analog cable and digital, cable-ready applications. When purchased with a radio frequency (RF) tuner from the Thomson Tuner Group, they are said to provide an integrated, high-end performance and cost-effective solution for DTV.
"With each passing year, media and entertainment products and services grow increasingly dependent on semiconductors," said Thomson Chief Technology Officer Jean-Charles Hourcade. "With the introduction of these DTV solutions, Thomson is shining a light, again, on the importance of ICs to the entertainment technology business."
"Thomson is leveraging its history to support the transition to digital TV," added Claude Barraud, COO, Technology division and head of Thomson Silicon Solutions. "We tapped into our deep experience in IC solutions and RF tuners to develop world-class DTV reference designs and to build top-of-the-line, front-end solutions.''
Thomson's IC products - Vlink 4110C and VSBlink 4111A - represent a comprehensive IC demodulator offering. Each of the ICs includes a vestigial sideband (VSB) demodulator for digital terrestrial transmission and a quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) demodulator for digital cable. The Vlink IC reduces the need for additional external components by including a digital implementation of an NTSC/BTSC demodulator (including industry-leading signal-to-noise ratio) and an out-of-band demodulator for digital cable-ready applications. Both the Vlink and VSBlink are in production and comply with the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) A74 guidelines and CableLabs® specifications.
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