Digtal / Smart TVs, Set-top Boxes

The evolution and development of Smart TVs has been the biggest milestone in television content distribution since the adoption of digital television, which has replaced traditional analog television in several countries worldwide. Smart TVs are the result of the technological convergence of digital TVs, the Internet, and content designed and offered using the Web 2.0 framework.

Smart TV allows the user to not only use the device as a television, but also browse the Web, play online games, view streaming media, and access social networking sites. It can be thought of as a combination of a television, a computer (with limited user-interaction capabilities), and a device that can search and retrieve information from an accessible network. A normal digital TV can be converted into a Smart TV by connecting an external set-top box, which would provide such features to the digital TV unit. Smart TVs are designed around specialized technology platforms, and they use customized versions of modern operating systems.

The following diagram illustrates a typical Smart TV's internal configuration.

Block Diagram

Samsung Semiconductor Block Diagram CMOS Image Sensor Application Processors Flash Card Consumer DRAM eMMC Smart card PMIC

Figure 1 shows a Smart TV, along with its most important components, such as the application processor, the memory subsection, the power management module, and the LCD display. In certain cases, the LCD can further be divided into the display driver IC (DDI), the timing controller (TCON), and the power management (PMIC) modules.

Samsung is one of the key developers of the standards for the Smart TV platform. As the worldwide leader and preferred supplier for providing solutions for Smart TVs and set-top boxes across all the device segments, Samsung also provides high-quality components that enable designers and manufacturers of Smart TVs, set-top boxes, and associated hardware to realize their most advanced designs and bring them to market in the shortest time and at the lowest costs.

 

Application Processors

The heart of any Smart TV is the application processor, which acts as the main processor (or CPU) for the device. Because a Smart TV is an embedded, interactive computer, it uses application processors with specialized architectures to obtain the required computing power, along with the desired levels of performance.

Samsung is the number one choice for designers of Smart TVs when it comes to selecting an application processor. Samsung's extensive line-up of application processors, based on the dominant ARM platform, has been specifically designed for deployment on Smart TVs, and other similar interactive computing devices. The complete range of advanced, low power application processors from Samsung includes the latest features for exceptional performance, and they are backed by a comprehensive suite of software development and support tools. Samsung currently offers application processors with the following ARM cores (listed in increasing order of capabilities):

  • ARM 7 Series
  • ARM 9 Series
  • ARM 11 Series
  • ARM Cortex A8 Series
  • ARM Cortex A9 Series

Samsung application processors are the industry's best SoCs and include the maximum number of features integrated on the silicon, resulting in the minimum number of additional external components required to bring-up the design, reducing the time-to-market for the product. Some of the principal advantages of using Samsung application processors in designs for Smart TVs include:

  • Highly optimized ARM-based cores:
    Samsung application processors are designed around the industry-standard ARM platform, which is the benchmark for low-power computing, communication, and entertainment devices.
  • Support for multiple memory types:
    Samsung application processors support all major types of memory from the current generation, such as mDDR (mobile DDR) and LPDDR (Low Power DDR), as well as newer memory technologies, such as moviNAND.
  • Integrated, on-chip peripherals:
    Samsung application processors include an array of several standard peripherals on the chip, eliminating the need for external interfaces, saving design costs and time. Examples of integrated peripherals for a Smart TV include a 24-bit true color LCD controller, AC-97 audio codec, and USB 2.0 OTG controller.
  • Extensive software support:
    Samsung application processors include a comprehensive suite of software solutions, such as Board Support Packages (BSPs), reducing software and firmware development costs and time for the final product. Furthermore, these packages also make it easy to port applications developed for one family of Samsung processors (such as those based on the ARM 9 series) to another family (such as the ARM Cortex A9 series processors).

CMOS Image Sensor

With increasingly larger screens, sharper pictures, and Web functionality, today's smart TVs represent a significant leap forward in the television experience. Using Samsung CMOS image sensor (CIS) solutions, you can create designs that enable consumers to enjoy a crisp, clear videoconferencing experience bringing them closer to friends and family.

Clear, bright video

Samsung's proprietary Back Side Illumination (BSI) technology enables increased pixel sensitivity to produce bright, low-noise video even in dimly lit living room environments.

Crystal-clear images

Samsung offers sensors in both high definition (HD) and full high definition (FHD) to match the displays of the latest smart TVs and create sharp, life-like images.

Smooth motion

Samsung image sensors enable smooth-motion video to connect people in a natural experience.

Accelerating the design cycle

Samsung's standalone or system-on-a-chip (SoC) sensors help you accelerate the product design cycle and stay competitive in the smart TV marketplace. The following diagram illustrates the internal configuration for a typical smart TV.

Work with a leader in smart TV technology

Samsung is a key developer of standards for the smart TV platform. A world-leading supplier of solutions for smart TVs, Samsung provides high-quality components that enable designers and manufacturers to realize their most advanced designs. OEMs and designers around the globe rely on Samsung for world-class devices and components to bring products to market in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost.

Flash Card


Samsung Flash Cards for Smart TVs

Smart TVs allow users to not only watch television, but also to browse the Web, play online games, view streaming media and access social networking sites. By bringing together all of this functionality, smart TVs represent a significant development in television technology. Samsung flash cards are widely employed as removable storage media in smart TVs and other leading-edge entertainment devices.


Gain valuable advantages for smart TV design

With a comprehensive range of speed classes, Samsung flash memory cards deliver high densities in a small footprint. Benefits of using Samsung flash cards include:

  • Versatility to suit various performance, size, and cost requirements
  • Configurability to match different interface transfer speeds
  • Ability to drive ultra-high-definition (7680 x 4320) TV screens
Samsung flash cards help you deliver the engaging experience and outstanding performance that consumers expect from smart TVs.

Work with a leader in smart TV technology

Samsung is a key developer of standards for the smart TV platform and a top supplier of solutions for smart TVs and set-top boxes. High-quality Samsung components enable designers and manufacturers to realize their most advanced solutions. OEMs and designers around the globe rely on Samsung for enabling the production of world-class devices and components in bringing designs to market in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost.


Click on the diagram for solution details

In addition to flash cards, Samsung provides a comprehensive portfolio of smart TV components. The following diagram illustrates the internal configuration of a typical smart TV. Blue-shaded blocks represent components offered by Samsung. Click on a block and information about that component will appear below the diagram.

Consumer DRAM

Samsung's range of DDR SDRAM, DDR2 SDRAM, and DDR3 SDRAM is the industry-benchmark for today's consumer and industrial electronic devices, such as digital and Smart TVs, set-top boxes, and many others. Samsung is the preferred supplier in these segments for a majority of OEMs worldwide. Apart from a wide range of DRAM solutions for consumer applications, Samsung also has an extensive offering of DRAM for industrial solutions with much wider operating temperature ranges and low power data support.

eMMC

The eMMC standard describes an architecture that consists of three components - an embedded storage solution with an MMC interface, a flash memory module, and its controller - all integrated in a single BGA package. eMMC capable embedded memory devices contain not only a data storage element (such as NAND flash memory), but also a controller for the storage element integrated on the same silicon die. This results in several advantages, such as reduced development time and easier integration of the memory block in the overall system. Ultimately, this leads to a much shorter time-to-market for the end product. Samsung is one of the main providers of eMMC technology across the world.

Smart card

A smart card is an integrated circuit, provided in the form of a card, similar to a credit card. Smart cards are extensively used around the world today in applications such as ticket readers, ATM machines, and mobile phones. Since they are equipped with tamper-resistant security systems, they are also used for financial transactions, such as making payments. Samsung is a leading manufacturer and supplier of advanced smart card technology, which is presently being used in mobile phones, electronic passports, and banking and finance.
and low power data support.

PMIC

All the latest electronic and electrical devices are designed to conserve power and conform to an energy efficiency standard (such as "Energy Star"). Dedicated circuits are present in current generation Smart TVs and set-top boxes to achieve this goal.

As shown in Figure 1, a power management IC (PMIC) is present in a Smart TV to reduce the unit's power consumption when it is "Standby Mode" (for example, when the unit is waiting to be turned on). The PMIC switches the TV into and out of the standby mode, and it is controlled directly by the unit's application processor. The primary purpose of the PMIC is to reduce the unit's power consumption to the maximum extent whenever possible, without affecting the unit's usability or the user's convenience.

Samsung has an array of power management solutions designed specifically for application processors deployed in devices across all segments of the Smart TV and set-top box markets. These power management solutions offer highly advanced and customizable power management features, such as programmable output voltages, and support for low-power modes. The following list presents some of the key features of Samsung's advanced power management ICs:

  • Wide operating voltage range:
    Samsung's power management solutions are capable of operating over voltage ranges as wide as 3.2 V to 5.5 V, providing high margins and tolerances for input supply voltage variations.
  • Use of high-efficiency, LDO (Low Drop-Out) buck converters:
    Samsung's power management ICs use highly efficient and programmable buck converters, with the added advantage of low drop-out voltages (between 1.2 V to 3.3 V, at an operating current range of 10 mA to 450 mA). The buck converters are programmable in steps of 25 mV, providing fine-grained control over the output voltage. Furthermore, the devices use DVS (Dynamic Voltage Scaling) to achieve very high efficiency levels.
  • On-chip RTC and manual reset facilities:
    Samsung's efficient power management solutions contain an RTC (Real Time Clock) on the device, eliminating the need for external clock sources. The device can also be reset manually, if needed.
  • I²C control interface:
    PMICs offered by Samsung are controlled by the industry-standard I2C bus, making the design for their control subsystem quick and easy.
  • Extensive design flexibility:
    Samsung's advanced power management ICs provide the designer extensive flexibilities to adjust the default output voltages and currents with high accuracy, ensuring stable output for the application at all times.

Samsung's efficient power management devices are deployed in the most advanced Smart TVs and set-top boxes in use today.

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