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© rob hill dreamstime.com Components | April 26, 2013

Broadcom and STMicro tie for Top Spot

Broadcom and STMicro tied in unit shipments for the worldwide set-top box IC Market in 2012, with both delivering between 85 and 86 million video SoCs for set-top boxes.
Third place Ali Technology saw significant growth within free-to-air terrestrial boxes by Chinese OEMs and delivered an impressive 65 million SoCs.

“The set-top box IC market has continued to be in a strange over-reporting situation for four years,” according to ABI Research practice director Sam Rosen. “Vendors public claims and internal counts of STB SoC shipments exceed the number of set-top box shipments by 5% to 25%, depending on year, for each of the last four years, even after accounting for the separate chips integrated in complex set-top boxes.”

High-end set-top boxes often include a video SoC, tuner/demodulator, MoCA chipset, and networking chip, for example. The adjacent smart set-top box market, coupled with possible blurring between the STB and Digital TV markets could explain some of this over reporting.

“Meanwhile, while Broadcom and STMicro tied in unit shipments, Broadcom’s footprint captures significantly higher value design wins within the North American and Western European cable and satellite markets; therefore, Broadcom does significantly better from a revenue standpoint. STMicro’s Digital Convergence Group, which is responsible for set-top boxes (and has been the subject of continual business unit jiggering), has gotten very narrow, losing significant connectivity business to focus primarily on DTV and set-top box, with set-top box representing nearly 80% of the group’s revenues,” added Rosen.
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