Set-top box supplier STMicroelectronics (STM) has announced support for the new Chinese Audio Video Standard.

The latest version of the codec, known as AVS Part 2, was approved as a Chinese national standard in March 2006, and is now being used in a standard definition IPTV trial by China Netcom, the country's second-largest wired-telecom company, which is expected to introduce an AVS-based IPTV service in 20 cities during 2007.

AVS1-P2 Jizhun Profile 4.0 level (SD) video decoding capability is being introduced in ST's STi520x and STi710x families, using a mixed software and hardware architecture that uses the decoders' multimedia processing engines to achieve exceptional performance.

The implementation of the decoder on proven devices that are in volume production will enable manufacturers already producing STBs based on these chips to rapidly design and deploy boxes compliant with the AVS standard, at minimum cost. Between them the two highly integrated families, embedding ST20 and ST40 core processors, support MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264/AVC standards, in addition to AVS.

The STi710x combines all the STB functions and multi-standard decoding circuitry into a single chip, rather than being an add-on processor for an existing product; coupled with its production using ST's state-of-the-art 90nm process technology this configuration results in the most cost-efficient solution, minimizing both design and production costs for high definition STB makers across IPTV, cable, satellite and terrestrial markets.

The STB520x and STi710x family devices are in volume production now, and software development for AVS is continuing, to ensure optimum on-screen picture quality.


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