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Broadcom unveils a mobile media superchip

20MP camera and full HD in a 40nm package
Wed Dec 16 2009, 17:06

CHIP MAKER BROADCOM has taken the wraps off its latest multimedia processor, promising longer-lived HD mobile devices.

The BCM2763 VideoCore IV Processor is a 40nm chip that crams in support for 1080p high definition camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering.

According to Broadcom it integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory, video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0 plus 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics memory.

Media output is handled using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface, while the 20MP sensor can handle features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilisation, face and smile detection and panorama mode.

Scaled down from 65nm to 40nm, the BCM2763 chip uses between 20 and 50 per cent less power than its predecessor, needing just 490mW of chip power to run the 1080p camcorder's H.264 High Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback or game graphics processing, according to the company.

"VideoCore IV is setting new benchmarks for performance, power consumption and affordability and is poised to drive advanced multimedia capabilities into new tiers of handsets," said Mark Casey, vice president and general manager of Broadcom's Mobile Multimedia business.

Casey reckons that as the demand for increasingly better mobile media content grows and the trend to use cell phones as a primary digital camera and camcorder continues, the BCM2763 will step into its own by allowing device manufacturers to build HD capable devices while also extending battery life.

The VideoCore IV is based on the existing software and legacy architecture of its predecessor, which should help manufacturers port across large chunks of existing software to devices using the new chip.

The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers but products featuring the new chip aren't expected to tip up until 2011. µ

 

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