Milestone-Proposal talk:MPEG integrated circuits
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Please enter discussion below
Advocate report, from Juan Carlos Miguez
1-I find the text of the proposal unacceptable practically unstructured, repetitive and difficult to read- there are no clear lines of argumentation
2 the nominator is counted among the project participants [ ref1.11 ]
3 itwas not developed exclusively by Thomson, but in conjunction with other institutions in France, apparently with official funding [public funding lab of ENST;it was the France of the minite
l] my opinion is to indicate to the proponents that althoughthis apparently deserves a milestone, they should reformulate it again, better
Re: Please enter discussion below -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 15:34, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Dear Advocate thanks for your comments. 1) proposal has been deeply re structured and reorganized 2) about me: MPEG was my 1st job in SGS-THOMSON when hired; I know very well the technology made into MPEG decoders; I contributed to some innovations described into the proposal (e.g. memory compression). Accordingly to IEEE History Center (ref Robert Colburn, 3/23/2022) "It is not a conflict of interest for a milestone proposer to have also been involved in the technical achievement. The advocate and the expert reviewers must not have involvement, but it is alright for the proposer." 3) please refer to Section 5) Historical background and contributions that is in the chapter HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE Also added testimony letter from Alain Artieri who clarifies that DCT was started in Thomson Semiconductors on 1984. Kind regards Danilo Pau
Re: Please enter discussion below -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 00:59, 25 March 2022 (UTC)
Dear Advocate as further contribution I over simplified the description. Lot of details about the two previous versions are now into the system track changes. I removed my papers from bibliography even if accordingly to IEEE History Center (ref Robert Colburn, 3/23/2022) "It is not a conflict of interest for a milestone proposer to have also been involved in the technical achievement. The advocate and the expert reviewers must not have involvement, but it is alright for the proposer." ENST contribution was not essential on the technology subject to this proposal. For details please refers to the new Alain Artieri testimony letter that clarify this point. I sent it to you via Robert Colburn. I hope I met all the requested changes in this 3rd revision and look forward to hear from you. Best regards Danilo Pau
Advocate Report: Final Version -- Juan Carlos (talk) 16:31, 23 April 2022 (UTC)
the nominators have made a good job of re-formulating the proposal, and clarifying it. in my opinion it is accaptable now, and the achievement contributed sgnificantly to the world-wide adption of the MPEG Standards, which -together with the growth of Internet,led to a re-formulation of TeleVision, the motion pictures industry and -through Youtube and other streaming services have re-defined entertainment all over the world, this completely and widely fullfills the condition of importance of the achivement to the Humanity. it also was made more than 25 years ago.
Re: Citation, the Text is acceptable, and the word-count below the limit. After a careful lecture of the proposal and the citation, a couple of comments came to my mind: Comment #1 - I think perhaps a mention of the significance of the availabilty of this Hardware implementation in the adoption of MPEG standards should be emphazised. Comment #2 - from the lecture it seems that the develpment was mainly made at thomson before joining with SGS so the first word of the citation should NOT be SGS ??
would the nominator -if he agrees- perhaps edit the proposed citation taking into account those aspects that appeared to me, a fresh intertested reader??
Finally, In my opinion, the plethora of endorsements by a geographically and culturally diverse set of distinguished professors makes the always difficult search of additional independent reviewers innescesary. Aniway, I contacted Dr Alfredo Arnau, full professor of Microelectronics at the Universidad Catolica del Uruguay -and an active Member in the Circuits And Systems Society, who agrees wth this report and has promised a few lines of his own in the next days.
This achievement,with its world-wide significance truly deserves an IEEMilestone
Re: Advocate Report: Final Version -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 19:30, 23 April 2022 (UTC)
Accepting the advocate's suggestion to improve citation according to his comments, I propose the citation as follows:
Thomson-Semiconducteurs (now STMicroelectronics) pioneered multimedia integrated circuits, to accelerate Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards. Innovative discrete cosine transform, developed jointly with ENST (now TelecomParisTech), memory compression, on-the-fly motion compensation, and audio decoding were allocated in a single silicon die. STi3500 was the first MPEG2 integrated video decoder. These microchips contributed significantly to the world-wide adoption of MPEG standards. They supported entertainment re-definition in everyday life.
I also updated the citation (66 words long) on the main page.
Thanks again for your guidance
Kind regards Danilo Pau
Independent Expert Review uploaded on behalf of expert by Administrator4 11:47, 1 June 2022 (EDT)
Att. IEEE Milestones I am pleased to write this reference letter as an expert opinion regarding IEEE Milestone proposal: MPEG integrated circuits, proposed by Danilo Pau and Jean-Michel Moutin. Integrated circuits from SGS Thomson in the 80's as detailed in the Milestone proposal, effectively contributed to the development of pioneering hardware for multimedia applications. Nowadays, several daily applications such as Smart-TVs, the distribution of movies over the Internet, digital TV, smartphones, etc., they started with this class of image decoders. It is an achievement to the Humanity. It is also a remarkable work of engineering that involved cooperation between engineers and researchers in the field of signal processing and microelectronics, on a very complex system. The achievement acquires special significance since more than 30 years ago neither the CMOS technology nor the CAD tools for the design of integrated circuits were as developed as now. For example, in the case of the STi3500, it was a highly complex chip developed mostly 'by hand' to optimize power consumption and transistor count. Back then, engineers were working on 1.2um-order CMOS technologies in comparison to current 4nm to 28nm ones used for smartphone chipsets. There were no IP (intellectual property) providers and no universally accepted solution to compression algorithms; in fact, the contribution of SGS-Thomson was essential to establish them. It was a great job of the team of engineers who managed to develop a highly complex functional IC, working in on a field with little background and the limited tools of that time. The proposal correctly includes in Section 2 to 4, the list of technical innovations. There is also a large amount of information in the references and the Internet (patents, articles, datasheets) about the development of the pioneering ICs for image decoding, that were the enabling technology of the multimedia industry as we know it today and the associated consumer electronics' hardware. Thus in my opinion, the early work at SGS-Thomson with multimedia ICs for MPEG in 1984-1988, deserves the recognition as an IEEE Milestone. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information. Dr. Alfredo Arnaud Electrical Engineering Department Universidad Católica del Uruguay. Contact: E-mail: email@example.com Phone: +598 24872717 ext.407 Mob: +598 94889251
Thank you for the work performed in composing this proposal as the MPEG standards are very important in our world today. However, I have found the following problems that I hope can be fixed:
Dates are Lacking and/or Ambiguous
No dates are included in the citation itself, only in the title ("1984-1988"), and apparently 1994 applies to the phrase "first MPEG2 integrated video decoder" in the citation. Proof for the 1994 date is not explicitly stated in the proposal, or in the title or citation, and this is a central aspect of the reason for this Milestone being proposed. The designation of "first" is often misused; in the case of this integrated circuit, it could refer to when it was (1) announced publicly, (2) proven operational in a lab, (3) provided for verification by a select set of early users, (4) integrated into a product, (5) shipped to suppliers, (6) shipped to end-users, etc. Based on the information provided in this proposal, it appears to be #1, but that is not at all clear. It is important that the date(s) in the title are supported by the citation. The wording re: the STi3500 may need to be adjusted in the citation, but it can still be recognized.
The "What features set this work apart from similar achievements?" section has problems
This important section is very terse, including this nebulous statement that lacks proper grammar: "SGS-Thomson chips were released earlier and the more mature vs Toshiba, Fujitsu, Telettra, ANT, C-Cube." This statement has no obvious support in the proposal by way of references or further explanation. It is my general understanding that in 1994, C-Cube Microsystems had MPEG-2 silicon, and that General Instrument had MPEG-2 silicon for the Primestar satellite system. Thus, this is a major problem with the proposal.
Lack of Available References
The proposal itself has lots of information, but it is difficult to parse, and very few of the references actually allow access to supporting information. With this much information, the proposal should have explicitly cited these references - and as these are already numbered, these numbers could have been inserted throughout the proposal to clarify support for its many statements. For any critical support from a document that cannot be linked due to copyright restrictions, a citation with one or more quoted excerpts should be provided.
Inconsistent use of "MPEG-1" and "MPEG-2"
There is inconsistency in the use of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 in the proposal. While this is partly due to the way some documents were titled, the proposer should use MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 (with a hyphen) thoughout the proposal and citation for all original wording.
Final Sentences of Citation
The importance of MPEG-2 could be better stated by replacing the last two sentences of the citation with "MPEG-2's resultant worldwide adoption made compressed full motion video inexpensive and commonplace." We could not use Zoom, stream movies, or do many, many other things without MPEG-2.
Only 1 Expert Review
The proposal needs 2 expert reviews, not just one.
Consideration of this Proposal by the Milestones Subcommittee
Since the expanded scope of the responsibilities of the Milestones Subcommittee as included in the History Committee Information document (as updated in April 2022) on p. 21 includes these words: "correction of any shortcomings or oversights within the proposal as a whole," I wonder if they were given an opportunity to review this proposal before the entire History Committee was asked to consider it.
Based on all of the above, this proposal has too many issues to work out in the very short time provided. Indeed, it was submitted for the History Committee's consideration many days after the door appeared to have been closed for additions to the agenda. I frankly would have been very welcome to giving this proposal due consideration in this short timeframe were it to have been better composed, but that is not the case here as I have detailed above. I look forward to seeing the above issues fixed so that this proposal can receive due consideration. Thank you. Brian Berg
I agree with the issues that Brian has raised here. Two more points:
1. I am unclear on the intended meaning of the word "accelerate" in sentence 1 of the proposed citation, saying "to accelerate Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards." Is the intended meaning that this accelerated standardization? If so, I recommend rewriting as "to accelerate development of Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standardization" or "to accelerate standardization of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) format." Or one could choose a different verb other than "accelerate." More than that, I think the proposed citation can also be tightened by combining the first and fourth sentence - see below....
2. I would also recommend sharpening the citation by making the last sentence stronger. The current version, "They supported entertainment re-definition in everyday life." is pretty vague and thus weak. I would recommend replacing the last sentence with something such as, "These microchips improved global data-sharing capacity and expanded popular access to audio and video entertainment."
Perhaps then a citation draft more like:
Thomson-Semiconducteurs (now STMicroelectronics) pioneered multimedia integrated circuits, accelerating world-wide adoption of Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards. Innovative discrete cosine transform, developed jointly with ENST (now TelecomParisTech), memory compression, on-the-fly motion compensation, and audio decoding were allocated in a single silicon die. STi3500 was the first MPEG2 integrated video decoder. These microchips improved global data-sharing capacity and expanded popular access to audio and video entertainment.
Thank you, Amy. With your inspiration, I am willing to dismiss my earlier list of issues with this suggested title and 69-word citation, both of which include appropriate dates. This removes any contention re: whether this was the first MPEG-2 IC, and how the word "first" is to be interpreted since (as I noted above) there are many perspectives on how that word is to be interpreted, and there is the need to provide proof thereof. I have used the word "announced" to be conservative, but I invite input as to whether this could be changed to "demonstrated" or "implemnted" based on properly documented proof.
MPEG Multimedia Integrated Circuits, 1984-1994
Starting in 1984, Thomson-Semiconducteurs (now STMicroelectronics) developed multimedia integrated circuits which accelerated Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards. By 1994, an MPEG-2 integrated video decoder with innovative discrete cosine transforms (developed jointly with ENST, now TelecomParisTech), memory compression, on-the-fly motion compensation, and audio decoding, was announced in a single silicon die: the STi3500. Subsequent MPEG-2 worldwide adoption made compressed audio and full-motion video inexpensive and available for everyday use.
Regarding the contentious word "first," I received a document from an associate which outlined corporate history of C-Cube Microsystems, and which included this paragraph:
In April 1994 C-Cube announced it would introduce the first multimode video decoder chip for shipment later in the year. The CL9100, RISC-based integrated circuit (IC) could decode four video compression algorithms: MPEG-2 (both simple and main profile), DigiCipher II, and MPEG-1. It also supported all standards, including NTSC, PAL, and film, so that cable box manufacturers could use the single chip to implement the most widely accepted compression systems.
When C-Cube actually shipped its CL9100 IC was not included in that document. However, it appears that both STMicroelectronics and C-Cube made public announcements about their single-chip MPEG-2 decoder devices in 1994. As such, since an assertion of "first" for either company would likely be on shaky ground, I recommend that the citation not include such a claim.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Numerous Issues with the Proposal -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 07:15, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
- Replace this text with your reply
Dear committee thanks for your efforts in reviewing our submission which is much appreciated. STi3500 chip was taped out between december 1992 and january 1993 to provide to RCA the capability to start testing the DirecTV service under development with satellite transmissions because it missed until then the critical mpeg2 decoder and SGS-THOMSON provided it to RCA a head of the competition the committee named. As a matter of fact, STi3500 was at that time the only mpeg2 chip available, that enable the decoding of DirecTV for the RCA decoder. Preliminary STi3500 datasheet can be found here https://www.datasheetarchive.com/pdf/download.php?id=41adeb712bc5ac298ea7da7c36bf09a04a339c&type=O&term=STI3500 and is dated April 1993. Therefore with such evidence, we claim at least April 1993 not 1994 for STi3500 availability. Actually the chip design and tape out was running on 1992 and building blocks were released as discrete chips even before starting since 1984 as described in the proposal). I sent the public STi3500 pdf datasheet to Robert Colburn to let the committee to consider it. I remain available to provide more evidences as required. The term first was referred as 1st integrated chip available a head of time than 1994 and to competition. @ https://www.company-histories.com/CCube-Microsystems-Inc-Company-History.html In April 1994 C-Cube announced it would introduce the 1st MPEG-2 CL9100, that could decode MPEG-2 (both simple and main profile), unfortunately this announcement was 1 year later the publication of STi3500 datasheet which was written after the STi3500 was manufactured and delivered to RCA. The term acceleration was used to mean hardware acceleration provided by the mpeg chips described in the proposal. Full description and supporting documents are in the track changes of the system. What you can read is the 3rd distilled revision simplified as requested by the advocate (see above threads). I remain available for any further clarifications as required about the proposal Thanks so much for your efforts I would like to express my availability to finalize the citation with your precious help. I propose also to consider the letters of support we provided which are independent evaluations, for example like from Leonardo Chiariglione MPEG convenor since its inception. These letters were our attempt to help the evaluation procedure with non biased super-partes expert reviews and not to force the procedure with biased supports. Kind regards Danilo Pau
Proposed citation -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 16:41, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
Dear Committee considering your feedbacks, could this citation look somehow acceptable ?
MPEG Multimedia Integrated Circuits, 1984-1993
Since 1984, Thomson-Semiconducteurs (now STMicroelectronics) developed hardware circuits to implement on silicon Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards. Starting by 1993, MPEG-2 video decoders with innovative discrete cosine transforms (developed jointly with ENST, now TelecomParisTech), memory compression, on-the-fly motion compensation, and audio decoding, were integrated in a single silicon die: STi3500 was the first chip. Subsequent MPEG-2 worldwide adoption made compressed audio and full-motion video inexpensive and available for everyday use.
from the advocate:revision of the citation -- Juan Carlos (talk) 18:05, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
As I understrtood the original proposal, its emphasis is on the STi4500 chip, all about video.
The achievement relates directly to the hardware implementation of MPEG video coding Perhaps by an oversight Danilo included the incorrect words “audio decoding”
In my opinion, the simplest way out is just deleting the words “audio decoding” from the aproved citation;all the rest is correct and -as already approved- the achievement deserves a Milestone
We have to thank Danilo for pointing out his own mistake -puting the word audio in the proposed citation. But to add the mention of the 3500 is impossible
All the text of the proposal the references the review and the aooroval- refer to the feat of developing and integrating the functions necessary for video coding for trasmission on the STi4500; there is no way to add a mention to another chip which deals with audio in the citation.
The proposal had a lot of words and documentation; Nobody from us took a look at the data sheet of the STi4500, otherwise the mistake might have appeared earlier.
If Danilo insists in including the audio part, he has to retire the original proposal [that’s perhaps impossible, because the Committee has already acted on that ] and restart from scratch with a new one, mentioning the whole chipset. And it would probably have to be rejected. Audio it is comparatively, much easier to deal with and there are many previous implementations of audio coding [eg: PCM, standarized by the CCITT in the 70s and audio CD in the 80s ] so it would not qualify as a Milestone ] Just deleting the wrong mention to audio does not invalidate all the rest of the process of the proposal, study and approval.
The core of the proposal, its references and review -and the aproval of the Committee refer to video . in my constructive opinion as advocate, just deleting the wrong words “audio decoding” from the citation is a minor correction which can be done now, and is a valid way to finish the issue. We are not making a new citation, just correcting a minor mistake -what is usually done and does not invalidate what has been decided, and we don’t need to start the process anew.
Re: from the advocate:revision of the citation -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 22:02, 28 July 2022 (UTC)
I am grateful to the advocate for his constructive feedbacks. I agree to remove the audio decoding mention from the citation since not integrated into STi3500
Feedbacks to the advocate and history committee about citation revision -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 07:01, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
The feedbacks from the advocate were much appreciated and understood, I agree with him that the audio decoding words can be removed, like for example as below for potential consideration.
Title of the proposed milestone: MPEG Multimedia Integrated Circuits, 1984-1993 Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance: Beginning in 1984, Thomson Semiconducteurs (now STMicroelectronics) developed multimedia integrated circuits which accelerated Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards. By 1993, MPEG-2 integrated decoders including innovative discrete cosine transform (developed jointly with ENST, now TelecomParisTech), bitstream decompression, on-the-fly motion compensation, and display unit were announced in one silicon die: the STi3500. Subsequent MPEG-2 worldwide adoption made compressed full-motion video and audio inexpensive and available for everyday use.
Furthermore from the datasheet, the STi3500 featured also an entropy decoder and dequantization (that I mentioned as bitstream decompression in the citation as first step of MPEG2 video decoding process), and a display unit (as last step to display decoded pictures on the screen).
I will look forward respectfully the meeting’s committee conclusions about citation
Re: Feedbacks to the advocate and history committee about citation revision -- Amy Bix (talk) 17:18, 3 August 2022 (UTC)
I am confused by the phrase: "announced in one silicon die".... In the first sentence, I recommend putting a comma before "which"
Re: Re: Feedbacks to the advocate and history committee about citation revision -- Danilo Pietro pau (talk) 06:16, 7 August 2022 (UTC)
Comma was added into main page citation. These words "announced in one silicon die" were proposed by the committee at last meeting to replace the use of the word first. Actually the chip was manufactured, announced doesn't mean one necessarily made it. Better if we could use a more concrete word like produced or manufactured or built or the like.