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Tower Semiconductor Begins Manufacturing Zoran ATSC Demodulator

The Zoran ATSC and DVD player chip sets were used in many of the new low cost ATSC receiver products viewed at the CES. Tower Semiconductor announced it had begun production of Zoran's Cascade 2-VSB demodulator chip using a 0.18 micron process. Ram Ofir, senior vice president and general manager of operations at Zoran commented, "With Tower's 0.18-micron process, our Cascade2 demodulator achieved excellent product performance. Zoran's digital TV enabled products provide consumers with a DVD-class video and audio experience far superior to what they are receiving today on their analog TV sets."

Manufacturers visited liked the Zoran chips because pricing was better than for the advanced VSB demodulator chips from LG and Samsung, which have been praised for their ability to decode ATSC signals under difficult reception conditions. However, last year, when announcing a low cost digital-to-analog solution in cooperation with Thomson, Zoran said a reference design based on Zoran's SupraHD 640 HDTV processor, Zoran's Cascade 2 demodulator and Thomson's DTT 7602 tuner met ATSC A-74 recommended practices for DTV receivers.

Since Zoran offers chips for portable DVD players, it isn't surprising manufacturers selected their chips for new portable DVD players with built-in ATSC tuners.

See the press release Zoran Demonstrates New DVD, HDTV, Digital Imaging and Connecting Technologies for Digital Home and Portable Consumer Products for information on other products the company was showing at CES