New HDMI Chip from STMicroelectronics Cuts Time-to-Market for High-Definition TV Products

IC combines mandatory control-signal conditioning and ESD protection for HDMI-compliant products

GENEVA, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in protection ICs, has introduced a chip that simplifies the design of HDMI-compliant connections for high-definition products such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, game consoles and HDTVs. The new IC, the HDMI2C1-5DIJ, assures designers of meeting HDMI specification version 1.3, while occupying up to 70 percent less board space than an equivalent network of discrete components for ESD protection, boosting, and level shifting of HDMI control signals.

Although ICs are available that provide both ESD protection and level shifting for the HDMI high-speed video/audio signal lines, as well as the two control channels, this removes the flexibility for designers to choose the best video/audio-protection IC offering the highest bandwidth and lowest capacitive loading. These characteristics are extremely important when protecting HDMI video/audio signal lines so as not to degrade signal integrity, leading to a poorer end-user experience.

The HDMI2C1-5DIJ provides ESD protection as required by the HDMI specification, achieving 8kV contact-discharge meeting the international standard IEC 61000-4-2 level 4. The signal-boosting capability, also included, ensures reliable transmission over long cable lengths and/or low-cost cable with a high equivalent capacitor. Integrated level-shifting circuitry allows the low-voltage control signals to be put directly onto the 5V HDMI link with no extra components required. The IC also protects against possible damage from other equipment driving signals onto the HDMI link.

The HDMI2C1-5DIJ is a companion for ST's HDMIULC6-4SC6, which protects HDMI video/audio signal lines. This has ultra-low line capacitance of 0.6pF and bandwidth greater than 5GHz, allowing designers to implement HDMI-compliant ESD protection while also maximizing signal integrity. Together, these two devices help designers achieve HDMI-compliant interfaces for high-definition equipment built using ST's STi5xxx or STi7xxx HD decoder ICs.

The HDMI2C1-5DIJ is available in a 16-lead QFN 5 x 4 package, priced at $0.90 for orders of 1000 pieces.

About HDMI Channels

In addition to consolidating high-definition video as well as audio in a single, compact cable, HDMI (carried through 3 TMDS lines), the High-Definition Multimedia Interface also includes two control channels. The DDC bus (Display Data Channel, based on I2C specification) enables devices such as DVD players or set-top boxes to read the resolution of the TV screen, and so configure automatically for optimum image quality. The CEC bus (Consumer Electronic Control, dedicated protocol for HDMI specification) allows linking of connected devices to support value-added features such as automatic standby or control of multiple connected devices via a single remote.

The signal and control channels all require ESD protection to meet the HDMI specification, but the signal-protection devices (on TMDS lines) must also have extremely low capacitance to avoid distorting the high-speed HD video. By providing separate ICs for signal-protection and control-channel duties, optimized for each task, ST allows designers simultaneously to maximize performance, save pc-board space, and demonstrate HDMI compliance for new products.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2008, the Company's net revenues were $9.84 billion. Further information on ST can be found at

SOURCE STMicroelectronics

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