Set-top Box

Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box Teardown

26 October 2007
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Main Features

High definition / standard definition IPTV Set-Top Box with HPNA v 3.0, DRM and HCP support, HDMI output, component output, and two-way IP communication. MPEG-4 (H.264), VC-1, and MPEG-2 video codecs. This box is part of Motorola's VIP1200/VIP1200e series which includes two non-DVR versions and two DVR version, 160GB version (VIP1216) and an 80GB version (VIP1208) - all models are HDTV-enabled.

Per Motorola: "The Motorola VIP1200 is a compact, superior, high-definition (HD) television IP set-top that also supports high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) high-quality digital video. Its two-way IP capability allows it to be used in multiple applications, including Multicast TV and VoD, and can support multiple middleware software solutions. The VIP1200 includes a high-end icroprocessor and enhanced graphics to decode HD and SD digital TV, as well as output high-quality surround sound audio.

Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box Main ImageMotorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box Main Image

Target Market

Captive customer base of 'cable alternative' service providers - ie telco service providers. Whether VDSL, FiOS or other high-speed delivery system, IPTV will gain popularity as a cost-effective competitor of cable and satellite, as the pipeline required to deliver IPTV will also provide coincidental improvement in broadband service and facilitate the quality and quantity of VoIP devices.


2005 assumed. Exact date unknown.

Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Main PCB TopMotorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Main PCB Top

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for this kind of product (at the consumer level) is meaningless as it is typically a completely subsidized part of a service package, and since it cannot function without being properly set-up by a service provider, after market product and prices have no validity.

The product should be available in the US (via ATT) and in Japan. It may be available more broadly - but evidence of this was not found in Motorola literature and press releases.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed that Motorola will produce 1 million units of this STB during the product lifetime, which may, depending on the acceptance and penetration of IPTV may be more, but based on our preliminary research this box doesn't seem to have a high number of service providers picking it up - so real production volumes may differ dramatically.

We have changed our assumptions and lowered our estimates for IPTV STB volumes in general in light of new research within iSuppli on worldwide rollout volumes for IPTV.

As a reminder, volume production assumptions are not meant to be necessarily 'market accurate', and our meant primarily to be used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially).

Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Main PCB BottomMotorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Main PCB Bottom

Function / Performance

No performance testing was performed.

Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box Cost AnalysisMotorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

The VIP1200 is in line with other set-top boxes analyzed from the world of satellite and terrestrial TV. In fact, if it weren't for the HomePNA v3 chip from Coppergate, it would be comparable to very low end boxes we have previously analyzed in terms of amount of core silicon, components counts, etc. Essentially - most functionality is integrated into the Sigma Designs chip.

Furthermore, Motorola has a great deal of market presence and leverages their purchasing power to the best of their ability, making their prices very competitive for all purchased components.

Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Enclosure Main Front PanelMotorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Enclosure Main Front Panel

Main Cost Drivers

We recently learned from sources in the market that the core Sigma Designs chip is selling for as much as low $20's to some manufacturers. Based on our assumed leverage of Motorola, however we are assuming that Motorola is negotiating stronger deals with Sigma, despite what appears, for the time being at least, to have a dominant position in the IPTV chipset marketplace. We have raised our assessment of this core chip to $18.50.

Silicon (Main PCB)

Sigma Designs - SMP8634LF - Media Processor - MPEG-4.10 (H.264), SMPTE 421M (VC-1) (Qty:1)

CopperGate - CG3011QIR-10 - HomePNA 3.0 Digital IC - Integrated RISC Packet Processor & RAM, w/ Built-in USB-2.0, MII, RMII, MSI Host Interface (Qty:1)

Analog Devices - AD9865BCP - Mixed-Signal Front End - Broadband, Integrated PLL, 3.3V (Qty:1)

Marvell - 88E6035-LAJ1 - Ethernet Switch - 3-Port, 100Mbps Bandwidth (Qty:1)

AKM Semiconductor - AK4384ET - DAC - 2-Ch, 24-Bit, 128 Times Oversampling (Qty:1)

Cypress Semiconductor - CY8C21334-24PVXI - Mixed Signal Array w/ On-Chip Controller - 512B SRAM, 8KB Flash (Qty:1)

Texas Instruments - TL1451ACNS - PWM Controller - Dual, 500kHz (Qty:2)

Silicon Image - Sil9002 - HDMI Transmittter PHY - HDMI 1.2 Compliant, 1080p (Qty:1)


Samsung Semiconductor - K4H561638H-UCCC - SDRAM - DDR400, 256Mb (16x16M), 2.6V (Qty:4)

Spansion - S29GL256N10TFI010 - Flash - NOR, 256Mb, 3V, 100ns, 110nm, MirrorBit (Qty:1)

External Power Supply

Motorola / Delta - EADP-24DB A - AC Adapter Power Supply Module - Switching (24W), Input: 100-120VAC, 50/60Hz, 1A - Output: 12V, 2A

Direct Materials & Manufacturing $82.59

What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

Our cost analysis includes the main unit, including power supply and power cord, but excluding other accessories (mostly A/V cords) and other box contents (literature, packaging, etc.). The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing and test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Manufacturing costs are calculated (modeled) on a per component basis for auto 'pick and place' insertion costs as well as 'hand inserted' assembly costs (all components are in one category or the other). Local, burdened labor rates are applied for all hand assembly and test operator cycle times, and in the case of pick and place our model differentiates regional cost structures. In addition test costs are calculated for devices which are not delivered as finished assemblies (hard drives, optical drives, some pointing devices, 802.11 cards, etc.). Overhead is a percentage calculation based on total cost of the device.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

We tend to use component counts as the one measurable and clearly defined 'metric' by which we can compare and judge the relative complexity of devices and comment as to where a given device fits in the spectrum of overall manufacturing cost and complexity between devices.

For this device, at a total component count of 885, it can be considered average within set-top box designs. It is a very simple modular design with the vast majority of discrete components all found on the Main PCB (782). Final assembly consists primarily of the main PCB, front panel PCB then enclosure and hardware elements.

Design Notes

This Motorola VIP1200 is almost identical to the previously analyzed VIP1216 except that as it is not a DVR box there is no hard drive, and a few supporting components for the hard drive. Otherwise it shares roughly 90% commonality with that box and all major chips are the same.

With a few peripheral exceptions (HomePNA 3 functionality notably) - this IPTV set-top box resembles fundamentally, in many ways, other conventional digital terrestrial and satellite set-top boxes - but the lack of need for demodulators and tuners does simplify the design somewhat, and the deisgn ends up being highly integrated. The core silicon in this deisgn is the (first-time seen by iSI) a Sigma Designs media processor. The bulk of satellite and terrestrial MPEG decoders we have seen were manufactured by ST Microelectronics - by far the most frequently seen in boxes analyzed by iSuppli.

The rest of the design features primarily networking IC / interface ICs - Coppergate HomePNA 3 digital IC (CG3011), and Marvell Ethernet switch (88E6035).

Power supply is an external unit (24 watt).

Main PCB

  • Sigma Designs - SMP8634LF - Media Processor - MPEG-4.10 (H.264), SMPTE 421M (VC-1)


  • HomePNA 3.0 - CopperGate - CG3011QIR-10 - Digital IC
  • Ethernet Switch - Marvell - 88E6035-LAJ1 - 3-Port
  • DAC - AKM Semiconductor - AK4384ET - 2-Ch, 24-Bit, 128 Times Oversampling
  • HDMI Transmitter - Silicon Image - Sil9002 - V1.2 PHY


  • SDRAM - Samsung - K4H561638H-UCCC - DDR400, 256Mb (16x16M), 2.6V
  • Flash - Macronix - MX29LV800CBTC-90G - 8Mb, CMOS, 3V, 90ns
  • Flash - Spansion - S29GL256N10TFI010 - 256Mb, 3V, 100ns, 110nm, MirrorBit

Power Supply (External)

  • Motorola / Delta - EADP-24DB A - AC Adapter Power Supply Module - Switching (24W), Input: 100-120VAC, 50/60Hz, 1A - Output: 12V, 2A


Motorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Box ContentsMotorola VIP1200 IPTV Set-Top Box - Box Contents

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