Microsoft and Sigma Designs Pave the Way for Low-Cost IPTV Devices

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Sept. 9, 2005 — Today at IBC2005, the International Broadcasters Convention, Microsoft Corp. and Sigma Designs Inc. announced the availability of a new class of system-on-chip (SOC) that will enable the production of low-cost, high-definition-capable devices optimized for the Microsoft® TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform. The new SMP8634 media processor from Sigma Designs will enable set-top box and consumer electronics manufacturers to create a range of products for broadband service providers to deliver IPTV services to the home.

Microsoft and Sigma Designs have worked closely together to extend the processing functionality of Sigma Designs’ open standards-based SMP8634 media processor to achieve a feature set that delivers the full power of the Microsoft TV platform. This innovative SOC is capable of delivering multiple channels of high-definition (HD) video and on-screen graphics, powerful multimedia processing, powerful content security, and support for a full range of peripherals such as USB 2.0, IDE, Ethernet and HDMI. Support for the VC-1 and H.264 (MPEG-4) video codecs is also built in, further reducing costs for set-top box manufacturers.

The SOC can be embedded inside a range of consumer electronic devices to enable consumers to choose from a variety of IPTV-ready receivers such as TV sets, set-top boxes, digital video disc players and gaming consoles. These offerings create more “on ramps” to the connected digital home, enabling great stand-alone IPTV experiences that are ultimately “better together” when connected to other compatible devices and services.

“Platforms based on Sigma’s SMP8634 and Microsoft IPTV Edition offer the dual benefit of achieving a dramatically new user experience and significantly lowering the cost of IPTV-ready receivers,” said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing at Sigma Designs. “Ultimately, high-definition content will help come alive for consumers as a clearly differentiated service.”

“Our collaboration with Sigma is a great example of driving innovation in the IPTV industry that will ultimately enable an exciting world of next-generation TV and connected-entertainment experiences that consumers do not enjoy with today’s legacy TV offerings,” said Phil Corman, director of Worldwide Partner Development for the Microsoft TV Division. “The combination of Sigma’s new SOC and the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform will bring significant benefits to set-top manufacturers, IPTV service providers and consumers alike.”

About Sigma’s SMP8634 Media Processor

Sigma’s SMP8634 media processor integrates a complete complement of next-generation capabilities for a single-chip system-on-chip (SOC) solution with powerful multimedia processing, robust content security system, and a full complement of peripherals. Its advanced decoder engines support video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media® Video 9 (Microsoft’s implementation of VC-1, the proposed SMPTE standard), MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2) with multiple streams, up to the equivalent of two high-definition video streams. High-performance graphics acceleration, multistandard audio decoding, advanced display processing capabilities, and HDMI/HDCP output round out its multimedia core. Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor, flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. The SMP8634’s 300-MIPS host CPU, 3.2 GB/second unified memory controller, Ethernet 10/100 controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, and IDE controller provide for a single-chip solution for most set-top boxes and consumer players.

About Sigma Designs Inc.

Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) specializes in silicon-based media processors for IPTV set-top boxes, digital media receivers, high-definition DVD players, HDTV, and portable media players. The company’s award-winning REALmagic® Video Streaming Technology is used in a variety of consumer applications providing highly integrated solutions for high-quality decoding of H.264, WMV9, MPEG-4, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1. Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., the company also has sales offices in China, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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