Broadcom Bows Set-Top, Modem-Chip Combo

More evidence of the trend toward multipurpose devices can be seen in
chip-making giant Broadcom Corp.'s new combined digital set-top box and
cable-modem chip.

The 'BCM 7110' offers a dedicated cable-television channel and a Data Over
Cable Service Interface Specification 1.1-compliant cable-modem function in a
single chip.

This will allow interactive-TV functions and broadband Internet access via
one device.

Broadcom added that the chip can contribute to several improvements in
digital set-top-box design, including personal video recording; a dual-tuner
capability to drive either watch-and-record functions or dual Internet and video
applications; a high-performance processor; an advanced graphics engine; and
mixed-signal integration.

The BCM 7110 also supports the alternative Digital Audio-Visual Council modem
standard and multiple physical-layer standards for international product

Media-gateway devices have become a hot trend in digital-box designs --
witness the Motorola Broadband Communications Sector 'BMC 8000' and 'BMC 9000'
on display at the National Show.

Broadcom's chip is aimed at these units and their ability to ship around
voice, video and data services throughout a household. When combined with
Broadcom's 'BCM 1101' unit, boxes using the BCM 7110 can also offer
voice-over-Internet-protocol second-line voice service.

'Service providers can now add cable-modem functionality to the most
up-to-date set-top-box functionality, giving consumers the latest innovations at
a low system cost,' said Brian Sprague, director of marketing for Broadcom's
set-top-box products, in a release.

Available now, the BCM 7110 costs $75 per chip for a 10,000-unit purchase.
Broadcom is also offering a reference design for software development based on
the chip.