The next generation
Set-top-box chip maker, STMicroelectronics has partnered with ARM, adopting the British chippie's Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and Mali 400 graphics processor to bung into future system-on-chip (SOC) ICs for digital and non digital telies alike.
ARM, which sent out the joint press release, gushes about the Cortex A9's wonderous abilities to "enhance HDTV experience", offer the "scalable high performance" needed for high-bandwidth broadband and broadcast content and "significantly improving power efficiency," compared with competing solutions.
Mike Inglis, executive vice president of ARM's processor division, said ST's move to base its next-generation range of HDTV SoCs on ARM technology pointed to a "growing momentum behind our Cortex processors and Mali GPUs (Graphics Processor Units) in applications such as DTV and set-top boxes."
ARM's Mali-400 GPU will apparently let ST provide punters with ‘1080p' 3D user interfaces which even happily conform to the Khronos OpenGL ES 2.0 API (Application Programming Interface).
The move is significant to ARM as it shows further uptake of Cortex A9 and traction for its Mali graphics IP, which competes with rival Nvidia Tegra, Qualcomm Snapdragon and Imagination Technolgies' PowerVR offerings.
It might also be a big deal for semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries, which made ST its first new customer earlier this year and recently announced a strategic partnership with ARM.
ST has a little while to wait though, as the Cortex-A9 MPCore and Mali-400MP will only be available in mid-2010.