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Electronic Design

Mobile A/V Chip Offers Performance Without Requiring Lots Of Power

When it comes to mobile audio/video chips, superior processing comes at the cost of higher power. Of course, lower power means less processing muscle. The SVENm (Scalable Video ENgine) from On Demand Microelectronics, though, may change that paradigm (see the figure).

Using as little as 80 mW for SD decode and 300 mW for encode, this chip can handle today's compute-intensive video standards, like H.264, MPEG-4, and VC-1. The SVENm targets mobile applications that require video formats up to D1 (720-by-576 PAL or 720-by-480 NTSC) resolution. It also excels where most processors fail by delivering the ability to handle future video standards via software programmability.

The individual functional blocks are programmable using the C programming language and integrated development tools. The SVENm's processor architecture was built based on the essence of an in-depth analysis of video processing algorithms, yielding an optimized processor architecture. The architecture exploits parallelism to process videos, resulting in increased efficiency.

This feature set makes the SVENm optimal for use in smart phones and portable media devices, allowing you to design your next-generation MP3 music player with drop-in video capability.

Other features include simultaneous video encoding and dual-stream decoding, audio processing, and high-performance image processing like scaling, deinterlacing, and color space conversion.

To ensure compatibility, SVENm can be connected with other systems using one of the many available multimedia interfaces, including MMC, SDIO, and compact flash, complementing a wide range of multimedia products. Its multilevel power management uses application-specific operating modes that enable power-down options to further minimize power consumption and preserve battery life.

The SVENm chip will be available in production quantities in the second quarter for about $9.50.

On Demand Microelectronics

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