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An MPEG 2 Decoder Multichip Module for Digital TV and Multimedia
Applications
Cyrus Ghahremani, Dr. Arzu Simsek, Prof. Herbert Reichl
Fraunhofer Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration
Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25
13355 Berlin
Tel.: ++49 / 30 / 464 03 - 145
Fax: ++49 / 30 / 464 03 - 111
email: ghahri@izm.fhg.de
Introduction
The digitization of audiovisual and written information offers the possibility of joining
them to one package and transmitting them via the same channel. Now these different
kinds of information can be processed on computers and any other common hardware.
Furthermore the user can interact with his system and manipulate the information
instead of only consuming it. This conveniance means a high datarate to be transmitted
and processed. So basing on the standard for teleconferencing H.261 and JPEG (Joint
Photographic Experts Group) for images the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG)
established the standards MPEG 1 and MPEG 2. Especially MPEG 2 addresses different
kinds of applications which can be used in portable and stationary systems for
computers or in consumer products. As portability and more functionality are the main
selling features the systems have to be miniaturized. To meet these demands Multichip
Modules (MCM) are a suitable means of designing systems of small size with high
functionality. In this paper an MCM for MPEG 2 decoding is presented.
Possible Applications
In 1994 MPEG published the final version of MPEG 2 „Information Technology - Generic
coding of moving pictures and associated audio information; International standard /
recommendation ISO / IEC 13818“. This standard covers all aspects of digital coding and
transmission of audiovisual information and supports for different applications such as
DVB (Digital Video Broadcast), DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast), DSS (Digital Satellite
Services), DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) or Videoconferencing. Thus basing on the
algorithms for data reduction described in the MPEG 2 standard subsystems for
computers portable or stationary disc players codecs for handycams and for receivers for
set-top-boxes and TV-sets can be designed. As the MPEG standards only describe the
decoding algorithm and the bitstream organization parameters and features such as
aspect ratio simulcasting audio formats and CA (Conditional Access) have to be
regarded individually for the particular application. In Figure 1 the application areas for
MPEG 2 Decoder MCM are shown.

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(portable)
DVD-Player
PC plug-in
Cards
PCMCIA-Cards
for Notebooks
DVD-MCM
MPEG-Codec
with
DVD-Support
MPEG 2
Codec MCM
Set-top-box
with
DVB and DSS
Figure 1: Applications with an MPEG 2 Decoder MCM
MPEG 2 Decoder MCM
An MPEG 2 Decoder MCM suitable for PC-Cards or portable devices can consist of the
decoder chip, the memory (Figure 2) and if necessary a decryption engine for
conditional access.
MPEG 2 Decoder MCM
Memory
16 MBit
MPEG Data in
MPEG 2
A/V Decoder
Decompressed
A/V Data out
Figure 2: MPEG 2 Decoder MCM
An area comparison between discrete SMT devices and bare dice mounted on a
substrate shows that the size shrinks to a quarter. So the whole decoder systems can be
placed into a package as large as the package of the discrete MPEG decoder chip as
shown in Table 1 and Figure 3.
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Device
MPEG Decoder
DRAM 256k x 16
total area
Quantity
1
5
IC area / mm2
Die area / mm2
900 129,96
5 x 286 = 1430
5 x 27,15 = 135,75
2330
265,71
Table 1: Area comparison packaged devices vs. bare dice
7,9 cm.
DRAM
MPEG 2
Decoder
ODM8211P
DRAM
DRAM
DRAM
DRAM
3,5 cm.
Micron
DRAM
256k 16
MPEG 2
Decoder
ODM8211P
Micron
DRAM
256k 16
Micron
DRAM
256k 16
Micron
DRAM
256k 16
Micron
DRAM
256k 16
PCB: 57,67 cm2
MCM: 13,65 cm2
Space ratio: 4:1
Figure 3: Size comparison packaged devices vs. bare dice
If placed into a PLCC package the MCM can be placed into a socket. Then it can be
removed and replaced by an upgraded version. This can also be achieved by mounting J-
leads on the edges of the substrate. An alternative is putting bumps on the downside of
the substrate and sealing the upside with a globtop. This is the most simple and
cheapest way of getting a BGA (Ball Grid Array). This way no additional package is
needed. This is suitable for small systems and applications in price sensitive market
segments.
Conclusion
With this technology various benefits can be gained. As the size is shrinked possible
EMC problems of the discrete SMT solution caused by clock signals and high datarates
can be minimized. The MCM offers a standardized interface. Therefore silent upgrades
can be made as the main changes occure in the MCM. A simple base system is suitable
for many product generations. These properties of the MCM technology yield in design
flexibility with shorter design time and lower development costs. Furthermore one type
of MCM can be used for a variety of products. The integration of further devices onto
the MCM and combining it with other function units can yield in new product
categories.
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