STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), the semiconductor manufacturer and vendor of ICs for digital Set-Top Boxes (STBs) and integrated Digital Television (iDTV), today announced it has signed an agreement to form a joint venture with HDIC, a company of Shanghai Jiaotong University that develops technologies for digital TV.

The joint venture, 65% owned by ST, will initially consist of about 20 people, and will be based in Shanghai. HDIC will contribute its existing MBT System Technology of TV Middleware for the Chinese market as well as head-end software for TV operators.

Under the direction of CTO Dr. Hongtao Liao, the joint venture will develop, market, and sell middleware software for digital TV and STB for both the Chinese and worldwide markets. Although primarily focused on the Chinese DTV market, the JV will also develop non-Chinese versions of middleware, such as OCAP (Open Cable Access Platform) for the U.S. market and MHP (Multimedia Home Platform) for European markets.

Subject to applicable regulatory approvals, the JV should start operations by end 2004.


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