Electronic Design

Multimedia H.264 Codec Trims Power For Portable Applications

The ability to add high-quality video capture and playback to portable systems just got easier with Mobilygen's MG1264. Consuming a mere 185 mW, this single-chip video codec can encode TV-quality VGA 30-frame/s H.264 video along with twochannel AAC audio. Systems ranging from digital TV broadcasting to next-generation handheld consumer systems are rapidly adopting the H.264AVC video standard, delivering MPEG-2 video quality at half the bit rate.

The MG1264 comes in a 156-contact fine-pitch BGA that's only 9 mm on a side. Its video preprocessor reduces noise and performs video scaling on both input and output video streams (see the figure). The AAC stereo channels can handle audio sample rates ranging from 22.05 to 48 kHz, delivering the data over an I2S port.

The chip incorporates quarter-PEL motion estimation, including a 4-by-4 mode. It also features rate-distortion mode decision capability, a deblocking filter, frame-mode coding (progressive scan), and field-mode-coding (interlaced scan).

Additionally, the MG1264 can provide trick-play decode options such as 4X smooth fast forward or fast reverse, as well as slow play and high-quality digital zoom. It supports video resolutions ranging from 320 by 240 pixels to 720 by 480/576 pixels (quarter-VGA to NTSC/PAL). Simultaneous encode and decode operations as well as dual-stream decoding to handle picture-in-picture applications are possible.

Based on the company's EVE (enabling video everywhere) architecture, the on-chip data-driven media engines handle 12 concurrent task threads to deliver a highly efficient-solution that can operate at just 40 MHz, keeping the power low. All encoding and decoding software is embedded in the chip, eliminating the need to develop any video software.

To help develop applications, the company's MG1264 EVB evaluation board provides access to all hardware and software functions. The system's removable daughtercard contains the MG1264 codec, the SDRAM, and exposed I/O for system integration. The main card includes audio and video I/O ports, Ethernet connectivity, onboard storage, UART monitors, and convenient hardware probe access and debug utilities.

In volume, the MG1264 costs less than $10 each, with samples immediately available.

Mobilygen Corp.

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