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Toshiba unveils Linux-based home entertainment gateway platform

Sep 30, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

San Jose, CA — (press release excerpt) — Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) today disclosed details of a complete integrated TX49 Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) processor-based reference platform for entertainment home gateway applications. Five leading companies joined with TAEC and cooperated in the development of the reference platform: Lineo, Systemonic, Sigma Designs, Vweb,… and Wipro. The first demonstration of the reference platform will take place at CEATEC in Japan on October 1, 2002.

“Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) expects the entertainment gateway to be the center of the home of the future,” said Farhad Mafie, vice president of the ASSP Business Unit at TAEC.

Toshiba's modular and configurable entertainment gateway reference platform incorporates the features and functions needed to build an entertainment gateway or add connectivity to products including televisions, personal computers, digital video recorders, personal video recorders, game consoles, etc. Various configurations are supported and new functions for emerging vertical markets can be added. Integrating both hardware and software on a Linux operating system platform, the entertainment home gateway reference solution includes:

  • Toshiba's TX49 64-bit RISC processor, which includes an integrated memory controller, a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) controller, Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitters, timers, a serial peripheral interface, an Audio Codec '97 interface and a triple Data Encryption Standard engine.

  • Toshiba's recently announced TC86C001FG companion chip, which supports the PCI interface, the Inter-IC bus, Universal Serial Bus (USB) hosts, USB devices, Integrated Drive Electronics Ultra-DMA mode 4 interface, general parallel input/output (I/O) and serial I/O.

  • Sigma Designs' DVD/MPEG-4 decoder with full-screen MPEG-4 playback.

  • Systemonic's programmable Tondelayo silicon solution for 802.11a+b W-LAN communication with “detect and connect” capability.

  • Vweb's MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codec, MPEG-2 and -4 transcoding on the fly, D1 size (720 x 486 pixels) MPEG-4 and a video streaming engine.

  • Lineo and Wipro's communications, virtual private network engine and voice over IP on embedded Linux.

The platform can also be used for other emerging market applications such as an MPEG-4 camera and surveillance system.

While the definition of an entertainment home gateway is still emerging, conceptually, it will serve as the pivotal point between public and home networks. It will connect the public packet network to the residential network. Incoming broadband data may be delivered via cable or DSL modem but in all cases will pass through the entertainment home gateway. Most likely implemented as a single box, the entertainment gateway will route the data, audio and video via a wired or wireless connection to a client product, such as a telephone, PC, TV, VCR or game console. The gateway server is also responsible for secure routing and switching, including content protection.

TAEC will make the entertainment reference platform available to customers at no cost upon request starting in the third quarter of 2002. Interested customers should contact TAEC directly. TAEC is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba, the second largest semiconductor company worldwide in terms of global sales for the year 2001 according to Gartner/Dataquest's Worldwide Semiconductor Market Share Ranking.

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