Electronic Design

Processor Includes Core Functions For Portable Multimedia

The MP201 application processor integrates the core functions needed in portable multimedia devices. Replacing as many as three discrete chips, it features on-chip video and audio data processors, integrated memory, and peripheral interfaces.

This multimedia processor is the first in a series of planned application processors from NEC Electronics. By optimizing the hardware architecture of the new chip and developing new technology to suppress the effects of power-supply noise on other circuits, the company integrated core functions in a single 14-mm2 package. The chip is the result of joint development with Ricoh Co. Ltd.

An integrated DSP can display 30 frames/second of QVGA video compressed with the industry-standard H.264 digital video codec and about 30 frames/second of 480-by-480 MPEG-4 compressed video. This capability lets device manufacturers support the latest digital music formats, including formats for delivering terrestrial digital video content to portable handsets.

Memory and peripheral interfaces include a USB 2.0 interface, an industry-standard Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) interface for hard-disk connections, and an input interface for orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation to support terrestrial digital broadcasting. It also offers interfaces to NAND flash memory, cameras, LCDs, and memory cards.

Integrated power control functions eliminate electromagnetic noise, while three clock-signal control modes and seven operating control modes allow power consumption to be adjusted according to the operating status of the device. NEC claims that combined with the low-power DSP, these control functions enable portable devices implemented with the MP201 to consume about half the power of current models.

The MP201 will be offered as one of NEC Electronics’ platformOViA solutions, which permit device manufacturers to leverage their investments in existing software resources. The platformOViA environment is an embedded software deployment and reuse platform that includes operating systems, device drivers, and other basic software components that work with a wide range of compliant chips. Because the upper layers of the interface are hardware independent, developers of multimedia products can reuse existing software. It is also possible for developers to plug in middleware components from partner companies.

Sample quantities of the MP201 will be available September, priced at $30. Volume production will begin by March 2007. NEC Electronics Corp.

TAGS: Components
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