New findings from ABI Research say five companies own 85 percent of the worldwide set-top-box (STB) system-on-chip IC market.

The market, valued at $3.3 billion in 2010, is controlled by the likes of Broadcom, STMicro, Renesas, Trident and Sigma.

According to ABI, Broadcom holds a secure first place with the largest percentage of market share, followed by STMicro. The two companies diverge on what countries they target with their product shipments. STMicro focuses on developing regions and free-to-air solutions, with a significantly lower average selling price (ASP) compared to Broadcom’s primary customers in cable and satellite in North America and Western Europe.

Despite 2010 being a banner year for the STB IC market, the market is projected to remain relatively flat through 2016, due to contractions in North America and Western Europe, which will be offset by growth in both the Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

“ASP increases due to advanced features and delivery of high-definition (HD) video is offset by general price pressure and growth in low-cost chipsets in developing regions,” explains Jason Blackwell, ABI practice director/Digital Home.

Within the STB IC market, there also is a growing disparity between the two extremes in set-top-box products. Comments Sam Rosen, ABI senior analyst/Digital Home, “There is significant fragmentation of the market, with high-end boxes used in digital video recorders supporting rich electronic program guides gaining high-performance processors and even graphical processing units, while low-end chips for cost-sensitive customers in developing markets provide the bare minimum functionality required to deliver video functions.”

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