PowerPC Chips Intended to Fuel Interactive Television

Last week, IBM announced a family of chips that it hopes will accelerate the transformation of TV sets into fully interactive, two-way information appliances. IBM says it is combining high-speed PowerPC processors and other television set-top box (STB) components onto a single "system-on-a-chip" that will give STB makers "significant benefits in system performance, price, and design." IBM claims that the chips will also help drive new capabilities for electronic program guides, Web browsing, and interactive applications such as home banking, e-commerce, and information retrieval.

Paul Belluz, director of digital video products for IBM, states that "the passive, one-way TV in your living room is being transformed into a gateway for rich, interactive content. These chips will help fundamentally change the way movies, music, and other digital entertainment is delivered to our homes, as well as the way we conduct personal business transactions."

With today's announcement, Belluz said, the computing power contained in the next generation of television set-top boxes will surpass that of the desktop PC of just a year or two ago. "Advanced STBs are part of the fast-growing category of 'pervasive computing' devices that are fueling the growth of e-business by making information available to more people in more ways." Samsung's Dr. Kee-Ho Park adds that "the interactive television market is evolving rapidly and the potential applications are endless. IBM's new system-on-a-chip design gives us the flexibility to quickly adapt to changing consumer demands and the introduction of new, advanced applications."

IBM says that the three new "system-on-a-chip" solutions are based on either the IBM PowerPC 405 or 401 processor, and simplify STB design by integrating into a single chip other STB subsystems, including an MPEG-2 audio/video decoder, a memory interface subsystem, and a wide range of peripheral interfaces. In addition to the STB PowerPC solutions, IBM says it has also introduced a companion audio/video/transport decoder chip that enables a range of emerging applications, including dual channel (picture-in-picture) platforms and digital video recording.

wintergnome24's picture

Whooa defiantly would of been and not a cool idea though for the machine would make the g5 a dock having those fuel interactive televisions. have a g4 chip in the laptop you go to your room sit it on the dock and it switches over to the more powerful g5 chip. Besides, it would be a great demand for fuel economy most especially fuel delivery companies since they can easily monopolize the great demand of usage.