Micronas and Thomson multimedia Showcase a New Copy Protection System
That Will Drive the Future of Digital Television
LAS VEGAS, January 8, 2002 -Today at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Micronas (SWX: MASN, Neuer
Markt Frankfurt: MNSN) and Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear 18453;
NYSE: TMS) will hold the world's first public demonstration of the
SmartRight copy protection and content management system,
designed to protect video content on digital home networks.
The demonstration, held at the Micronas booth (16024) in the
Las Vegas Convention Center's south hall, will show the solution's
ability to provide an effective end-to-end solution for the protection
of digital video content, deployable in any parts of the world.
The new copy protection system meets commercial requirements for
content protection in devices for digital home entertainment networks
such as TV sets, Set-Top-Boxes, DVD players, digital video recorders,
The aim of SmartRight is to offer a complete solution to answer
the need for copy protection and content management on digital
home networks. Current solutions use device-to-device or link
encryption, which mean they need re-encryption at device borders.
SmartRight, on the other hand, provides end-to-end copy protection.
Content entering a SmartRight personal private network stays encrypted
until it is rendered. SmartRight can coexist and work with all
other current copy protection systems.
Additionally, SmartRight is based on the use of removable security
modules, such as smart cards, which provide a truly and cost-effective
renewable solution in case of hacking.
"SmartRight offers content owners a more flexible system
to safeguard ownership. It also facilitates, together with Conditional
Access or Digital Rights Management systems, the creation of new
business models enabling consumers to enjoy content while respecting
copyrights" said Reinhard Steffens, Head of System Architecture
at Micronas. "It has already generated a great amount of
interest among the digital chain community and today's demonstration
will attract large number of supporters and attendees."
The SmartRight system will be implemented on Micronas' MDE 9500,
a mixed-signal digital TV decoder chip. In combination with the
existing Micronas product portfolio, MDE is a perfect solution
for implementing SmartRight technology in presentation devices.
It provides the world's first cost-effective and secure solution
for digital video broadcasting for integrated digital television
(IDTV), which is replacing analog TV with separate digital set-top
boxes. According to leading analyst firm Cahners In-Stat, the
global market for digital TV receivers will amount to over US$4
billion by 2004.
"Micronas brings its world-renown knowledge in consumer
electronics to SmartRight and the digital TV field," said
Olivier Lafaye, General Manager Advanced Projects at Thomson multimedia.
"Together with our development partners we provide the world
a better, safer and more flexible solution for copy protection."
SmartRight is a copy protection system for digital home
networks, which, combined with conditional access systems (CAS)
or digital rights management (DRM) systems, provides an effective
end-to-end solution for the protection of digital content. SmartRight
is a global system deployable in any region of the world. It makes
no prior assumption on the content's format it receives. It accepts
content from any kind of source, including free-to-air content.
It defines a common syntax for SmartRight content to ensure interoperability
and defines a simple application program interface (API) with
current dominant CAS and DRM systems. It is network security neutral
and may either co-operate with these systems or be fully transparent
SmartRight was first designed and developed by Thomson multimedia,
with the help of technology partners wishing to jointly develop
and promote this digital copy protection system. Thomson, along
with Canal+Technologies, Gemplus, Micronas, Nagravision, Pioneer,
Schlumberger, and STMicroelectronics, answered the DVB-CP call
for proposals for Content Protection and Copy Management Technologies
with the SmartRight system.
About the MDE 9500 chip
The MDE 9500 mixed-signal decoder family combines all of the
signal process tasks of digital receivers while also supporting
analog video processing. The high-performance graphic system supports
all DVB recommendations, embedded TV applications and upcoming
services like interactive TV. Furthermore, the chip features interfaces
to address external devices such as IEEE 1394 link layer and ATA/IDE
hard-disk drives. The interfaces and the system partitioning are
adjustable to different TV systems enabling the manufacturers
to build complete system solutions.
The MDE 9500 also meets the requirements of the multimedia home
platform (MHP) standard. MHP will enable a fully horizontal digital
TV market by defining an open and standardized programming interface
for interactive TV applications.
Micronas (SWX: MASN, Neuer Markt Frankfurt: MNSN), a semiconductor
company group with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier
of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for consumer electronics,
multimedia and automotive electronics. The holding is headquartered
in Zurich (Switzerland). Currently, the Micronas group employs
over 1500 people. In 2000, it generated over CHF 490 Million in
sales. For more information on Micronas and its products, please
About Thomson multimedia
With sales of 9.1 billion Euros (U.S. $8.3 billion) in 2000 and
73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia
(Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) provides a wide range of
video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products
and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment
and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media
transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities;
Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products,
Patents and Licensing and New Media Services. The company distributes
its products under the THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.
* * *
Certain statements in this press release, including
any discussion of management expectations for future periods,
constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning
of the "safe harbor" of the U.S. Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements
are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and
are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could
cause actual results to differ materially from the future results
expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to
changes in global economic, business, competitive market and regulatory
factors. More detail information on the potential factors that
could affect the financial results of Thomson multimedia is contained
in the Thomson multimedia's filings with the U.S. Securities and
Micronas media contact
Phone: +49 761 517 2324