Broadcom’s new processors allow operators to offer mobile, web-based TV services without compromising security
Broadcom officials are showing off two new systems on a chip (SoCs) that are designed to help operators offer improved broadcast services into customer homes.
At the CableLabs Winter Conference on 12 March, Broadcom unveiled the BCM7435, a 40-nanometre dual-core hybrid gateway SoC that features web domain security. With the new product, pay-television operators can stream video broadcast content wirelessly and simultaneously (with transcoding) to a variety of devices, all while also supporting secure web applications.
The operators can now offer new web-based services without affecting the broadcast content, according to Dan Marotta, executive vice president and general manager of Broadcom Communications.
“Our latest design lets operators expand their video and web-based services to more devices without compromising the security of high-value content,” Marotta said in a statement. “The next revolution in digital living is content portability – enjoying premium video, internet and apps anywhere you choose, anytime.”
The BCM7435 offers 200 percent better application CPU performance than the current BCM7425 Dual Transcoding MoCA 2.0 gateway platform, thanks to the 7,000 DMIPS (Dhrystone MIPS) dual-core, quad-thread applications processor. The product’s hardware hypervisor supports multi-processor and multi-operating system software platforms.
In addition, the CPU Core Web Domain Security feature secures web browsers and app stores when delivered with premium broadcast content. The BCM7435 also offers quad transcoding, expanded video capacity that supports security for up to 22 simultaneous video streams, and a 300 percent increase in 3D graphics performance and 200 percent increase in audio processing, according to Broadcom.
“The launch of the BCM7435 system on a chip marks a significant milestone in the next generation of television because it empowers the pay-TV operators – which already have set-top boxes in millions of living rooms – to expand their lineup of offerings to include content-rich apps,” Dana Brzozkiewicz, public relations manager for Broadcom’s Broadband Communications Group, said in a March 12 post on the company’s official blog.
Secure but separate
“The key is the security that keeps the two types of content – the web-based content and the premium broadcast content – from exposing each other to possible vulnerabilities, such as attacks or outages. Specifically, it’s the ‘Web Domain Security’ element that works behind the scenes of the BCM7435 to manage the two content platforms in their secured, but separate, processing worlds and to police the interactions they have with each other.”
In addition to the BCM7435, Broadcom at the show is also displaying the BCM7574 SoC for high-definition digital terminal adapters, which officials said will push the transition of the remaining 45 million analog televisions in North American that are currently connected to a cable TV service over to HDTV.
The move will help the communications industry in a couple of ways, according to Broadcom’s Marotta.
“Broadcom’s latest chipset leads the way in integration and efficiency to quickly and easily convert the remaining large base of analog subscribers to digital broadcasting, including basic HD programming channels,” he said. “The migration to HDTV not only will provide much higher quality TV programming and services, but also reclaim precious bandwidth to make way for additional HD channels with higher speed Internet services.”
System performance doubled
The technology features twice the system performance – with better CPU, graphics, video and audio processor – than previous platforms, faster channel surfing with the company’s FastRTV technology, universal HD security and new Commercial Advertisement Level Mitigation (CALM), which keeps the volume constant between the TV show and commercials, and while channel-surfing.
In addition, an integrated power management controller in the chipset lowers system standby power to less than 100 milliwatts, reducing average power consumption by up to 65 percent during a 24-hour period. It also supports the federal government’s Energy Star 4.0 requirements.
Both the BCM7435 and BCM7574 SoCs are available immediately.
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