Philips and Samsung Announce Universal CE API

Consumer electronics (CE) companies, Philips and Samsung have today announced the Universal Home Application Programming Interface (UH-API). Aimed at simplifying the development of software, be that applications or middleware that uses their semiconductor-based systems, thus reducing the time to market for home consumer devices. This is a reaction to, and acceptance of, the need for increasingly complex software to operate and combine digital consumer electronics. Drafts of UH-API are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2004.

The UH-API consists of a set of software interfaces for configuring and controlling the audio and video-related components of a semiconductor platform targeting the consumer market, and it is complementary with the leading operating systems across the industry. It is designed for target devices including analog and digital televisions, Set Top Boxes, DVD players and recorders, personal video recorders, home servers and other consumer audio-video devices.

Leon Husson, executive vice president of Consumer Businesses, Philips Semiconductors said, “This is a fundamental change from developing standalone consumer electronics products that fit proprietary schemes to a universal choice of hardware systems that can support the multiple features of the diverse consumer electronic brands.”

Both companies have said they will “realign their internal resources” to develop UH-API-compliant semiconductor chipsets and solutions. They will also invite other CE companies to participate in enhancing and deploying the UH-API specification.

Philips plans to make their Nexperia Home semiconductors range UH-API compliant. Samsung will start by making its HD TV chipset compliant and plan to expand its coverage from there.

Philips Nexperia IC’s