ARM Set-top-box industry overview by Informa analyst

Posted by – March 31, 2014

ARM overtakes MIPS in the Set-top-box market as most of the Set-top-box SoC makers are showing ARM solutions, it’s about the ecosystem, about the platform, Android, Google TV, RDK, Wyplay, all of these user interfaces are being optimized for ARM, bringing cheaper and better more advanced and more powerful devices all at the same time. The TV market is bigger than the Web, as people still spend a lot more time watching TV than browsing the web in average. And the new features enabled by ARM, Android and other platforms, enable a lot more video-on-demand and other forms of interactivity on the TV.

Entropic EN7310 ARM SoC for Set-top-box with HEVC and MoCA 2.0

Posted by – March 30, 2014

Entropic shows their latest EN7310 ARM Cortex-A9 SoC with IP-STB and HDMI Stick features, integrated multi-tuner dual DVB-S/S2 cable reception, advanced security and DRM, HEVC decode and transcoding with Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) 2.0 home networking.

Entropic is a fabless semiconductor company recognized for inventing the MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) home networking technology, creating Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Outdoor Unit (ODU) single-wire technology, and developing the industry’s first ARM processor and OpenGL graphics Set-top box (STB), System-on-a-Chip (SoC).

This video also features Eagle Kingdom Technologies (EKT) who launches DCP5205 world`s first Entropic powered hybrid PowerPlug Set-top-box combining the functionality of a Set-top-box into a plug socket, thus eliminating the need for a separate power adapter commonly required in today’s hybrid STBs.

Sigma Designs SMP8756 ARM for Android Set-top-boxes

Posted by – March 30, 2014

Sigma Designs, a leading provider of System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions for home entertainment, control, connectivity and converging multimedia delivery, launches its new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)-capable SMP8750 family ARM Processors for Set-top-boxes. Combining the HEVC compression standard with a high performance ARM Cortex A9, ARM Mali-400 GPU, the SMP8756 enables Sigma Designs to offer more performance, a better user experience and full video quality for the Set-top-box market.

Sigma SMP8756 features HEVC’s Main-10 profile allowing processing of up to 10 bit color samples accepted as the standard for 4Kx2K, OTT (over the top) and IPTV content. The SMP8750 family will support FHD and 4K resolutions. The new SMP8750 family offers SoCs at multiple cost and performance combinations allowing each SoC to offer optimal performance to price ratio for multiple STB platforms from zappers, PVR capable, Hybrid-broadcast and IPTV STBs.

The SMP8750 family migrates robust STB SoC components like broadcast TS processing, OTP and security infrastructure paired with an ARM A9 CPU and Mali GPU. The single-core ARM A9 CPU and 3000 DMIPS of application processing along with a Mali GPU combine to provide a dramatic performance profile for new 3D user interfaces, over-the-top and casual gaming applications. Incorporating Sigma’s industry-proven technologies such as secure media processing, multi-format Full-HD video decoding, VXP display processing, and field-proven AV software core, the SMP8756 is able to provide premium quality video experience. A software SDK is available for either Linux or Android platform development. Future certification of CAS technologies like Verimatrix and Nagravision are planned.

The chipset also demonstrates ecosystem compatibility, leveraging the widely supported ARM processing core, OpenGL ES, HTML-5 and others to ensure that a broad range of existing applications will run including a wide range of hardware and software extensions to support the system solutions; including global tuner/demodulator standards, wired and wireless network controllers, DTV middleware stacks and IPTV middleware ports, such as Wyplay and OpenTV.

The SMP8756 comes with a full Software Suite, including libraries and services packaged under both Linux and Android development kits for rapid development. It incorporates managed power consumption, developed for both US and European regulatory compliance and is developed to a minimal R-BOM to allow smaller footprint and lower cost implementations.

STMicroelectronics Set-top-box ARM Processors: STiH312 Cannes and STiH412 Monaco

Posted by – March 30, 2014

ST’s latest ARM Powered System-on-Chips supporting Android, Google TV (now Android TV), rdk, ST presents their STiH312 client-box and STiH412 server-box product families, codenamed ‘Cannes’ and ‘Monaco,’ respectively, they integrate Faroudja technology to decode and display video up to Ultra HD 4K (2160p) and the next-generation H.265 / HEVC video compression. Even supporting video transcoding (for local and remote streaming from the Set-top-box to Tablets, Smartphones, etc) STMicroelectronics presents their Dual core ARM Cortex-A9 (on 28nm process) with quad-core Mali-400 GPU does Quad-HD Ultra HD 4K HEVC video decoding, combined with Faroudja video processing technology (decoding on Cannes, decoding and transcoding on Monaco), advanced security supporting concurrent conditional access and DRM, wide connectivity, including USB 3.0, PCI-e, SATA and Gigabit Ethernet, Dedicated interfaces to a range of companion front-end solutions, including MoCA 2.0, DOCSIS 3.0, satellite and 802.11ac WiFi and more.

Zopo Headquarters Shenzhen R&D Tour

Posted by – March 29, 2014

Tour at the Zopo headquarters in Shenzhen China, where the Zopo R&D team are putting final touches to the design of the upcoming Zopo ZP1000 ultra-thin and impressive 7.2mm Octa Core MediaTek MT6592 phone.

Shenzhen ZOPO Communications-equipment Co Ltd was founded in 2012 engaging in R&D, production, marketing and service of MediaTek based smartphones. I filmed my first video with Zopo Mobile at its founding when they launched the Zopo ZP100 (2). ZOPO ZP200 was “China’s first Glasses-Free 3D dual sim smartphone”. ZOPO was the first company to manufacture and deliver a Linux Sailfish OS smartphone to the Indian market. Zopo sells a lot of phones to China, Germany, Benelux, Netherlands and a lot of other European countries.

Zopo ZP990+, 6″ FHD, MT6592 Octa Core

Posted by – March 28, 2014

Selling for $321 on the Chinese market.

Zopo ZP980+, 5″ FHD, MT6592 Octa Core

Posted by – March 28, 2014

Selling for $241 on the Chinese market.

Zopo ZP780 MT6582 5″ qHD Gorilla Glass

Posted by – March 28, 2014

Selling for $144 on the Chinese market.

Zopo ZP998, 5.5″ FHD, MT6592

Posted by – March 28, 2014

Selling for $273 on the Chinese market.

vrAse: much better than Oculus VR

Posted by – March 25, 2014

This is the way to do VR. Using your latest Smartphone and the $100€ vrAse headset (€ prices always include 20% VAT!). Using your latest always-improving Smartphone display, sensors, processor, graphics, storage, connectivity and everything. Just insert your Smartphone into the $100 http://vrAse.com headset (successfully funded on Kickstarter, to be available this summer) and you transform your latest smartphone into an awesome virtual reality machine. I’ve tried it, and it’s awesome. Oculus VR and other similar dedicated VR headsets probably use standard smartphone components anyway, so why not just use the latest Smartphone in the vrAse headset? vrAse just focuses on providing good optics with two lenses, which can provide for 3D and 2D immersive virtual reality.

The vrAse finally justifies having 1080p and higher than 1080p resolution on your latest smartphone because it brings your smartphone display pixels up close to your eyes!

I think the killer app for vrAse (and for any other VR headsets) may actually be 360 degree panoramic immersive video (although the 360 video cameras are not yet available to the masses, but they may be imminent), as I filmed the 6K panoramic video demo on Nexus 5 in my Finwe.fi video of last month: