Broadcom, STMicro tie as top STB chip vendors

US firm Broadcom and French-Italian company STMicroelectronics have tied joint first for the worldwide set-top box chipset market in 2012, with both delivering around 85mn STB chips during the 12 month period, according to ABI Research.

Taiwan’s Ali Technology took third place after seeing a significant growth in orders from Chinese manufacturers of free-to-air terrestrial boxes, and delivered an impressive 65mn STB systems-on-a-chip.

Sam Rosen, practice director at the research firm, commented that the set-top box IC (integrated circuits) market has “continued to be in a strange over-reporting situation” for at least four years, as the total number claimed to have been shipped by IC vendors repeatedly exceeds the total number of STBs shipped by as much as 25%.

This discrepancy remains even when taking into account the separate chips integrated in complex set-top boxes that often include a video SoC, tuner/demodulator, MoCA chipset and networking chip, according to ABI Research.

Broadcom is believed to do “significantly better” than STMicroelectronics from a revenue standpoint, adds Rosen, as its footprint captures significantly higher value design wins within the North American and Western European cable and satellite markets.

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