Broadcom said it is collaborating with SoftAtHome to develop a hybrid set-top box that will enable service providers to more easily introduce cross-platform applications.
The integration between Broadcom silicon and SoftAtHome’s software, the two companies say, will pave the way for the introduction of features and services such as the ability to access personal digital content from a mobile phone, PC or TV; play content stored in the home from any TV in the world; record TV programming when traveling; navigate through recommended programs on a TV based on a personal profile; and manage home settings or access content from favorite Web sites.
Third-party application developers, integrators and service providers can develop their own graphical user interfaces (GUIs).
Broadcom said it will couple the SoftAtHome software with several of its processors. The first two the company mentioned were the BCM7405, an STB system-on-a-chip (SoC) developed specifically for the IPTV segment and announced only yesterday, and the BCM7325, designed for the satellite segment and announced in 2007.
SoftAtHome’s Operating Platform software contains functionality and application programming interfaces (APIs) for creating cross-platform applications. Both SoftAtHome and Broadcom have co-developed the drivers to implement the SoftAtHome Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that leverages key features from Broadcom's high-definition STB SoCs, including the chips’ accelerated graphics processors, MPEG-4 decoders and digital video recorder capabilities that can be deployed across multiple devices in the home.
SoftAtHome was created by Orange, Thomson and Sagem Communications to deliver an operating platform to pave the way for converged services in the digital home environment.