Electronic Design

H.264 Format Video-Processing IC Enables Next-Generation DVD High Definition Recording and Playback

Location: Sands, Booth #70809

Fujitsu Microelectronics recently announced what it bills as the industry's first large-scale IC capable of real-time compression and decompression of high-definition TV-level video in H.264 format. The MB86H50, scheduled to be released in March 2007, is based on an H.264 processing algorithm developed by Fujitsu Laboratories. The IC is designed with Fujitsu's high-performance audio and video processing technology, and will be manufactured using the company's 90-nm process technology.

The Fujitsu MB86H50 supports the H.264 High Profile, Level 4.0 standard used in next-generation DVDs. It enables high-resolution recording, playback, and transmission of high-definition video on audio-visual products such as portable A/V products, hard disk recorders, and home network equipment.

The H.264 format was jointly promulgated by the ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union, Telecommunication Standardization Sector) and ISO/IEC (the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission). To achieve superior performance, H.264 requires very high computational loads to be processed at the time of compression. The High Profile, Level 4.0 version of H.264 used in next-generation DVDs requires very high data-processing volumes to maximize image quality, so a high-speed IC is required for real-time H.264 compression. Building on its work developing chips for MPEG formats, Fujitsu has been involved in standards-setting organizations related to H.264, in addition to product development.

"The MB86H50 represents a major breakthrough in video processing, applying the highly efficient H.264 standard in high-profile applications for the first time," said Davy Yoshida, director of Business Development, Fujitsu Microelectronics America. "Because H.264 encodes video so much more efficiently than MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 part 2, H.264 allows more television programming in a specific channel bandwidth. The new format also enables high-quality video to be delivered over bandwidth-limited networks. Our new device will bring these capabilities to a new generation of consumer electronics equipment."

Serves Advanced Applications Requiring High Volumes of Compressed Data

The new video-processing IC uses the H.264 format to address the higher functionality required for advanced recording and playback of high-resolution, high-definition video, with the associated requirement for compressing large volumes of data. The chip uses proprietary compression technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories to reduce processing loads, and incorporates Fujitsu's embedded memory technology. Fabrication using Fujitsu's 90-nm manufacturing process technology will enable a compact size and low-power operation.

Product Features

  • Real-time compression and decompression of HDTV video and sound
    The new video-processing IC is capable of real-time compression and decompression of high-definition video, with a maximum up to 1440 dots × 1080 lines. The sound is simultaneously compressed and decompressed in Dolby Digital format. This is the first time these processing features have been integrated onto a single chip for general use.
  • Embedded memory enables smaller size and lower power consumption
    This is also the industry's first H.264-supportive LSI featuring two pieces of embedded 256-Mbit FCRAM. The optimized design combines logic and memory on one LSI chip, enabling a more compact size and lower power consumption.
  • Proprietary compression and image-enhancement technology
    The new chip has a proprietary "self-tuning" algorithm developed by Fujitsu Laboratories that automatically applies a lighter compression method to high-action zones where compression artifacts are most noticeable, such as human faces or slow-moving objects, and stronger compression method in other zones. This enables image data size to be reduced to one-half to one-third that of the MPEG-2 format with an equivalent level of image quality.

Fujitsu plans to continue to enhance the high functionality of the MB86H50 to support full high-definition capabilities up to 1920 dots × 1080 lines. Fujitsu will enrich its line of video-processing chips, including products such as a "multi-decoder" chip that can handle multiple formats, including both H.264 and MPEG-2.

Pricing and Availability

Scheduled for introduction in March 2007, the MB86H50 will be packaged in 650-pin FBGAs and priced at $120 each in sample quantities. Volume pricing is available upon request.

For more information, visit fujitsu.com/.

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