Large-screen LCD and plasma televisions and the previously ignored high-definition (HD) TV sets are flying out of retailers' doors. DVD sales also are terrific, as are the personal video recorders (PVRs) that let users record their TV shows on a hard disk for later viewing. Now, Broadcom is entering the fray. Its dual-channel BCM7038 chip enables manufacturers to economically incorporate high-quality HDTV capability and PVR features into digital TV sets, cable set-top boxes, satellite receivers, and HD-DVD players.
The chip's dual video/audio channels simultaneously support dual TV sets with independent picture-in-picture capability. Advanced video and graphics features, such as an on-chip 3D Y/C separation circuit, multiframe de-interfacing, and quad video scalers with single pass-processing, all significantly improve the HD picture quality by removing unwanted noise and artifacts from the image. The chip also supports common PVR functions—pausing live programming, recording and forwarding, and reversing through recorded programs. It includes software drivers to support standard PVR platforms like TiVo and XTV as well.
The BCM7038 integrates a 64-bit, 300-MHz MIPS processor to make all of this happen. Its 400-MHz double-data-rate system memory handles the high-performance needs required by advance applications. The device also supports Broadcom's 3D graphics engine.
Housed in an 841-pin PBGA package, the BCM7038 costs $60 in 10,000-unit quantities.