LSI, Sanyo Join on Advanced TV System

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chip maker LSI Logic announced Monday that it had entered into a joint development agreement with Sanyo Electric of Japan to produce circuitry for a new type of advanced television system.

Analysts said the agreement was a sign that Japanese electronics vendors are becoming more willing to include technology from American suppliers in their most advanced products, a long-standing goal of American trade negotiators.

LSI, a Milpitas-based company that focuses on semi-custom computer chips, will work with Sanyo to make a set of chips for a new, high-resolution television system known as high definition television (HDTV).

Japanese electronics companies, under the leadership of the state-run broadcasting firm NHK, have pioneered HDTV technology. The prospect that Japanese firms would dominate what is expected to be a huge new market for HDTV equipment has added to trade frictions and helped spur an aggressive U.S. effort to develop an American HDTV system.

The agreement announced Monday calls for LSI to develop a set of chips that implement the NHK specifications for the decoder that will translate an HDTV signal into a television image. In addition to being used in Sanyo HDTVs, the chip set will be available to other manufacturers--but it will likely be usable only in sets built for Japan. The United States is moving toward adoption of a different set of HDTV standards.

The first LSI chip set, using between six and 10 chips, will be ready next year.

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