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Eutelsat, STMicroelectronics Announce SoC for Interactive Satellite Terminals

By | March 9, 2017
      The STiD337.

      The STiD337. Photo: STMicroelectronics.

      Eutelsat Communications and STMicroelectronics have developed a new-generation chip that will power Eutelsat’s SmartLNB interactive terminal. ST’s low-power System-on-Chip (SoC) STiD337 represents a step down in the overall cost of interactive satellite terminals. Eutelsat’s SmartLNB is the first to adopt the STiD337, lowering cost, upgrading service and reducing power consumption.

      The SmartLNB is an electronic feed that replaces the traditional Ku-band reception of Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite signals, embedding one or more satellite tuners/demodulators directly inside the Low-Noise Block (LNB) and adding a narrowband return link optimized for transmissions of Internet Protocol (IP) packets. The SmartLNB enables a wide range of connected TV applications, providing a transparent bidirectional IP link compatible with existing services. Not limited to the TV and broadcast market, applications also cover the exploding sector of connected objects with a cost-effective solution via satellite.

      ST has employed its low-power 28nm Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FD-SOI) process technology that enables deep sleep and auto wake up for the system. It has a maximum 3.5W power dissipation at full speed and less than 50mW during sleep.

      The STiD337 adds the latest DVB-S2X satellite standard for the forward link, as well as Generic Stream Encapsulation (GSE) for efficient data handling; it can achieve throughput of over 100Mb/sec. The return path implements a software-radio approach that is optimized for the enhanced spread-spectrum technique with asynchronous access typically used for the SmartLNB. The device also includes the full complement of hardware mechanisms to support real-time multiple-access techniques. The return modulation is calculated on the internal processors. The platform includes a dual ARM Cortex-A9 core with NeonTM co-processors and four ST231 DSP offload coprocessors to enhance its computing power and ensure complete flexibility in the choice of return-channel modulation type.

      The new SoC will be available in secure and standard versions. The secure version includes pre-loaded encryption keys, serial numbers, safe-boot, and many other features to increase the level of protection of data-delivering and gathering operations by the SmartLNB.