Electronic Design

Graphics Processor Brings Mutlimedia And Video Capture To Handhelds

With cell phones, PDAs, and other portable devices being asked to do more, whether it's playing multimedia files or capturing images, the system's CPU simply can't handle the task alone. Designers at Emblaze Semiconductor agreed, so they came up with the third-generation ER4525 mobile multimedia application processor.

This chip can play video at 30 frames/s with CIF resolution (up to 384 kbits/s decode). It also captures video at up to 15 frames/s with CIF resolution (up to 384 kbits/s encode), provides video-phone support at 15 frames/s with QCIF resolution, and encodes JPEG images with resolutions of up to 4k-by-4k pixels.

The single-chip application processor is built around an ARM926EJ CP core that includes Java support and runs at 240 MHz. Imaging, video, and graphics hardware accelerators surrounding the core process video and audio data streams as well as capture and encode video and still images. An on-chip camera interface can tie into an 8-bit CMOS/CCD sensor and capture images with resolutions of up to 1.3 Mpixels.

The LCD controller has an 8-bit interface to handle video RGB data (6:6:6) for up to 264k colors. Video and graphics engines can support displays of up to VGA resolution and provide alpha blending, gamma adjustments, and image rotation (90°). The chip supports a wide range of video and audio standards, including MPEG-4, H.263, JPEG, H.264, QCELP, MP3, MIDI, and many others.

Also incorporated on the 240-lead chip are three serial interfaces that support PCM, I2S, SPI, Microwire, and AC'97 protocols, an external bus interface, a USB port, a memory-card interface, and an SDRAM memory interface.

Designed for low-power applications, the chip consumes just 70 mW from a 1.2-V supply. The I/O pins support 1.8-, 2.5-, or 3.3-V interfaces. Samples of the ER4525 are immediately available. In large volumes, the chip will cost less than $10 apiece.

Emblaze Semiconductor
(972) 9-7699555

See associated figure.

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