STMicroelectronics Demonstrates Innovative Wireless Home Networking Techniques at CES 2006
Leading chip maker shows next-generation consumer equipment technologies in action
Geneva, January 3, 2006 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, will be demonstrating several innovative technologies for convergence applications for Wireless Home Networks in a private demonstration area at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 5-8, 2006. These include demonstrations of audio/video (A/V) streaming in wireless home IP-based networks and a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) application.
As an example of its state-of-the-art technology for audio/video streaming in wireless home IP-based networks, ST will show its W.A.V.E.S (Wireless Adaptive Video Enhanced Streaming) platform. It includes a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) media server that is able to stream data to UPnP Media Renderers, and a transcoder with an error-protection module to assure the best possible user experience. The media server has been designed as an open solution, where it is easy to integrate external data sources, different WLAN cards, and networks.
In the CES demonstration, three STm80x0-based digital set-top boxes share audiovisual content through an IEEE 802.11g Wireless LAN according to DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) and UPnP AV guidelines. As the bandwidth available for A/V streaming continuously varies, an adaptive MPEG-2 transcoder changes the video characteristics in real-time to handle any WLAN impairments. Multimedia delivery reliability is further enhanced through an application level Forward Error Correction scheme that is dynamically adapted to accommodate the changing WLAN conditions, by eliminating or significantly reducing packet losses due to burst noise. This adaptive approach, which introduces FEC redundancy only when needed, represents a very efficient solution in terms of processing and network overhead.
One of the most important technologies for this scenario is video transcoding, which is a technique that allows compressed digital video streams to be adapted to different network transmission and receiver conditions. ST’s Advanced Systems Technology (AST) group is developing a state-of-the-art transcoding technology called Dynamic Bitstream Shaper (DBS), which is a global MPEG-2/H.264 input/output framework that will support changes in bit rate, frame rate, frame size, and coding standard without needing to decode and re-encode the bitstream. Transcoding and FEC are optimally combined by ST’s proprietary Cross-Layer Controller algorithm, which monitors WLAN links quality and selects the most appropriate technique to use.
This demonstration shows also how a mobile phone can be integrated in the wireless home network, through two key applications: Voice-over-IP and DLNA-compliant control of multimedia home appliances. The Nomadik™ STm8810-based mobile phone runs a Voice-over-IP application using a low-power WLAN solution. Vocoders and effects are controlled through the OpenMAX Integration Layer API, which allows multimedia components to be easily integrated in a mobile platform. ST participates as a contributor to the definition of the OpenMAX standard, an initiative carried out in the Khronos Group.
“The technologies we are demonstrating underline ST’s position as the ideal partner for mobile-consumer convergence,” said Alessandro Cremonesi, AST Vice President and Deputy General Manager, Systems Technology, STMicroelectronics. “ST’s deep know-how in multimedia coding and transmission technologies, coupled with outstanding integration capabilities, is creating the foundation for a new generation of home networked products.”
The emerging scenario in which heterogenous devices in the home will connect seamlessly to each other requires the development of a variety of distinct technologies that must all work together in the most effective manner to deliver low cost, low power consumption and high user satisfaction. ST is not only leading the world with its advanced transcoding technologies but is also one of the few semiconductor companies that can master all of these single technologies in a synergistic way.
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 2004, the Company’s net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at http://www.st.com.
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