High performance and low-cost HDTV solution aims to boost the adoption of Digital TV in Japan

The solution will be demonstrated at CEATEC Japan 2006
October 3 to 7, 2006, Makuhari Messe, Chiba
STMicroelectronics Booth: Hall 8, No. 8C53

TOKYO, Japan – October 02, 2006 — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) and ACCESS Co., Ltd. (ACCESS) have developed a high function and low-cost digital TV solution with data broadcasting capability for the Japan market; the solution pairs ST’s high-performance STi7710 HDTV decoder with ACCESS’s digital data broadcast software “NetFront® DTV Profile” BML Edition. ST and ACCESS will demonstrate the solution for the first time in ST’s Booth at CEATEC Japan 2006 from October 3 to 7, 2006.
 
Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has determined that analog terrestrial TV broadcasting will completely switch over to terrestrial digital broadcasting by July 2011. As a result, demand will build for replacement of the estimated approximately 100 million existing analog TV sets, and affordable solutions for consumers. To respond to this opportunity, TV manufacturers are looking for Digital TV turn-key-solution which enable fast time-to-market. In addition, forecasters are anticipating strong growth of interactive services using HDTV.
 
The pairing of ST’s STi7710 and ACCESS’ “NetFront DTV Profile” deliver powerful features to boost the adoption of digital TV in Japan. In addition to broadcasting video and audio, a valuable advantage of digital broadcasting is that it enables digital TV to simultaneously co-exist with data (video and text) broadcasting. In Japan, all broadcast operators use BML[1], a descriptive language based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language), in creating data broadcasting content. BML browsers can receive broadcast video and data simultaneously, and can provide bi-directional service such as online surveys along with TV programming.
 
Ordinarily, to embed a BML browser in a digital TV/set-top box (STB), a system manufacturer devotes much time and staff in working with the middleware supplier. This offering by ST and ACCESS of an HDTV decoder and embedded BML browser solution eliminates this challenge, thereby shortening development time and lowering costs, which will contribute to the diffusion of digital TV in Japan.
 
ST’s STi7710 is a low-cost single-chip decoder with an embedded high-performance CPU, and with all the video, audio, and decoder functions required for HDTV integration. In addition to these functions, the STi7710 embeds Multi2 descrambler and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) audio decoder compliant with Japan’s original digital TV standard. Furthermore, a high-performance 2D graphic accelerator enables efficient merging of graphic planes with less demand for CPU resources.
 
ACCESS’s “NetFront DTV Profile” supports BML, a standard language that was established by ARIB [2], with the capability of handling BS (Broadcasting Satellite), CS (Communication Satellite), and terrestrial digital data broadcasting and containing an HTML browser capable of handling all types of bi-directional domestic Japanese services. The “NetFront DTV Profile” is multimodal, with the ability to simultaneously display or switch between the BML and HTML browsers.
 
“The embedding of a BML browser into the HDTV decoder, through cooperation between an independent semiconductor manufacturer and the middleware supplier, has huge significance.” commented Marco Cassis, President of STMicroelectronics Japan. “This enables OEMs to lessen the enormous resources needed to develop a system with a BML browser making quick-and-easy product development possible. By realizing this solution with ACCESS, which has a successful track record with BML browsers, we believe that we can further enlarge ST’s presence in Japan’s digital TV/STB market.”
 
“ACCESS positions digital TV as a vital platform in the ubiquitous society, and we have been offering all sorts of products for the digital broadcasting market, “commented Toru Arakawa, President and CEO of ACCESS. “This time, we have developed a digital TV solution for the Japanese market with ST, and ACCESS is pleased that we are contributing to the more efficient release on the market of terrestrial digital TV broadcasting-compliant devices.”
 
Note 1: “BML” is an abbreviation for Broadcast Markup Language, middleware for use in Japanese terrestrial digital broadcasting.
 
Note 2:”ARIB standard” is a standard authorized by the Association of Radio Industries and Business  
 
* ACCESS and NetFront are trademarks and registered trademarks of ACCESS Co., LTD. in Japan and other countries
 
About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the Company’s net revenues were $8.88 billion and net earnings were $266 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
 
About ACCESS
ACCESS CO., LTD. is a global company providing leading technology, software products and platforms for web browsing, mobile phones, wireless handhelds and other networked devices. ACCESS’ product portfolio, including its NetFront Browser, Palm OS and the ACCESS Linux Platformprovide customers with solutions that enable faster time-to-market, flexibility and customizability. The Company, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, operates 29 subsidiaries within Asia, Europe and the United States, including PalmSource., Inc. ACCESS is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index under the number 4813. For more information about ACCESS, please visit www.access.co.jp or www.access.co.jp/english


For further information please contact:
 
STMicroelectronics
Keiko SAKO
Corporate Communications Dept.
Communications Director-Japan
STMicroelectronics
Tel:+81-(0)3-5783-8220
 
ACCESS CO., LTD.
Head Office (Japan)
Mariko Hanaoka
Tel: +81 (3) 5259-3685
Email: prinfo@access.co.jp