TeraLogic’s chip seen as key to low cost DTV tuners

TeraLogic is launching a new decoder chip that could have a major impact on the cost of HDTV tuners.

The company’s .13 micron HDTV decoder, called Generation9 and manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, is set for initial delivery in the first quarter of 2003. If it lives up to expectations, an integrated DTV tuner using the chip could be available for less than $300 by the end of year. Currently, such tuners cost more than twice as much.

The Generation9 chip, priced at $35 in 10,000 unit quantities, integrates a universal digital TV decoder, a 64 bit MIPS CPU, a 100 MHz audio DSP and enhanced copy protection features. This “system on a chip” design is designed to drive down overall cost while providing system designers a flexible, single cost-effective platform that will support multiple digital television products.

The arrival of the new Generation9 chip is timely, since the FCC recently mandated that most new television receivers sold in the U.S. must be equipped with integrated DTV tuners by 2007. Although it’s not yet known whether the tuner mandate will withstand court scrutiny, most television set manufacturers are preparing to honor the ruling.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports that 1.43 million digital TV sets and monitors were shipped to dealers in 2001. However, just more than 70,000 of those sets included built-in digital tuners. During the same period, manufacturers shipped nearly 129,000 stand-alone DTV set-tops.

Among TeraLogic’s consumer electronics customers are TV set manufacturers Sony, Thomson/RCA, Mitsubishi and Samsung.

For more information, visit: www.teralogic-inc.com.

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