Chip firm S3 in set top box R&D deal with BSkyB

20 Jul 2010

Irish chip design firm S3 Group has revealed it has been collaborating with Sky and electronics giant Broadcom on the development of Sky’s latest high-definition (HD) low-power set-top boxes (STBs), the DRX890 and the DRX895.

These boxes include highly integrated and advanced STB technology from Broadcom Corporation. Both boxes boast enhanced features, increased storage capacity and energy saving capabilities. And as with Sky’s existing Sky+HD STBs, the boxes have also been designed to support future services launching in 2010 such as broadband-enabled video-on-demand and 3DTV.

Broadcom’s BCM7335 HD DVR satellite system-on-chip (SoC) solution features a high level of integration and performance to enable broadcasters such as Sky to offer advanced features and low power consumption. Furthermore, S3 Group’s coLinkTV software product helped Sky get these products to market faster. S3 Group also used its own automated testing solution, StormTest, to test the functionality of the boxes throughout the entire development and system test cycle. Sky has been routinely utilising StormTest for in-house testing of their boxes since early 2009.

“Working with Broadcom and S3 Group as partners has been a great experience and we are very proud of the products we have created together,” said Roger Lambert, Sky’s director of customer technology.

“Providing our customers with high performance, high reliability HD PVRs is central to our on-going HD leadership, and also for launching innovative new services like 3D and video-on-demand.”

“Broadcom’s high-end single chip solution, coupled with our product IP and system integration expertise, have helped create a quality solution which sets the standard for the industry at large.” said Philip Brennan, VP TV Technology, S3 Group.

Dublin-headquartered S3 (Silicon & Software Systems) employs 178 people in Ireland and 115 overseas. The company has design centres in Dublin, Cork, Prague and Worclaw in Poland. Exports account for more than 99pc of the company’s annual turnover.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years