The CES press releases keep rolling, and both Broadcom and ViXS have announced new chips which have direct applications in the DVR market. This is particularly interesting to me as TiVo has been using Broadcom SoCs since the second spin of the Series2, right up through the TiVo HD, and in the TiVo HD they also began using a chip from ViXS. So the capabilities of these new chips could indicate potential features in future TiVo models.
Broadcom’s BCM7335 SoC is aimed at satellite DVRs, of the sort used by DirecTV, DISH Network, and other satellite services worldwide.
The BCM7335 is Broadcom’s next generation satellite set-top box system
on a single chip manufactured in the 65nm process. It integrates a dual
tuner/demodulator from the BCM4506 front-end device and the latest
generation of AVC decoders that supports multiple video formats.
It operates on a dual-threaded MIPS(R) CPU core running at 450 MHz
resulting in over 950 DMIPS in performance. The BCM7335 is designed to
support UMA and non-UMA memory architectures, utilizing a 400-MHz clock, 32
+ 16-bit wide double date rate (DDR2) memory interface for enhanced
performance and allows cost effective memory implementations.
The BCM7335 supports several interfaces for TV output on-chip that is
integrated on-chip including the HDMI, baseband composite, component or
S-Video, and incorporates Broadcom’s advanced 2D graphics engine that
enables true studio-quality text and graphics, efficiently using its memory
While this chip is aimed directly at satellite, normally Broadcom will also release other family variants which are targeted at cable and other sources.
XCode(TM) 3290 Features: ---------------------- - 400 MHz Dedicated Application Processor - Multi-processor architecture - Availability of additional processing power via multi-processor architecture - Multiple Integrated Peripherals - Dual Ethernet, Dual SATA, and Dual USB ports - Multiple Interconnects: - PCI, PCIe, and Host Bus Interface (HBI) - DDR2 and NAND Flash - Multi-stream HD/SD Video Transcoding, Decoding and Encoding - MPEG4 AVC, MPEG4 Part 2, MPEG2, VC1 - Bitrate Reduction, Resolution Reduction and Format Conversion - High-speed Transcoding up to 16x real-time - Support for iPOD, iPOD Touch, iPhone, PSP and other portable device formats - Fully integrated security - Cable Card, Smart Card and DVB Common Interface (DVB-CI) - Multiple Encryption and Decryption Engines (including 3DES and AES) - Multiple Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme support XCode(TM) 3111 Features: ------------------------ - Integrated Peripherals: - USB, UARTs, Transport Stream in/out - Interconnects: - PCI, PCIe, and Host Bus Interface (HBI) - DDR2 - HD/SD Video Transcoding, Decoding and Encoding: - MPEG4 AVC, MPEG4 Part 2, MPEG2, VC1/WM9 - Bitrate, Resolution and Format Conversion - High-speed Transcoding up to 10x real-time - Support for iPOD, iPhone, PSP and other portable device formats - Software Applications: - Time-shifting (View and Record) - Place-shifting (Remote TV) - WebCam - Fully integrated security: - Cable Card, Smart Card and DVB Common Interface (DVB-CI) - Multiple Encryption and Decryption Engines (including 3DES and AES) - Multiple Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes support
And the chips continue to gain power and capabilities, vendors such as TiVo will have an easier time incorporating additional features in their products. Chips like these will make it easier to support additional video formats, play Internet video, transcode video to shift to other devices, incorporate place shifting, etc. It is basically a given that these chips will be in new products, though given product development time lines it may not be until late this year or even 2009, but it will be interesting to see which new products they power, and what those products bring to the market.