Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
?
EE Times-Asia > Embedded
?
?
Embedded??

China startup hinges hopes on media player chips

Posted: 14 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? mobile TV? GPS? Jade? PMP?

Jade Technologies Co. Ltd plans to leverage its image- and video-processing expertise into design wins in China's growing markets for personal media players (PMPs) and Internet Protocol (IP) camera designs.

Fast-growing market
The PMP market in China is small but growing fast, as dozens of domestic suppliers vie with global players from South Korea, Taiwan and Europe. It's fertile ground for a startup in the multimedia-chip business, but it still won't be easy for Jade to reap design wins for its first chip.

"My job now is to sell. There are lots of fast-moving, creative companies in Shenzhen that are interested in this market, so we need to focus on supporting them first," said He Ouyang, president and CEO of Jade.

The fabless semiconductor developer is promoting its Z228 MPEG-4-based codec chip for smart phones and PMPs, and is awaiting the results of a tapeout for a new version of the chip that also handles H.264 and VC-1 decoding in hardware.

Emerging players
Rising Chinese fabless stars Actions Semiconductor and Vimicro are also pushing into the multimedia-chip market, competing with the likes of Sigma Design, Broadcom, Texas Instruments, Samsung and Sunplus Technology. Yet there should be room for smaller chipmakers such as Jade and Anyka Corp., if they offer a high level of support to customers in a rush to get to market.

Early adopters are the primary market for PMPs in China, according to market researcher In-Stat Inc. PMP shipments in China will reach 1.43 million in 2010, driven in part by stronger games capability and the addition of mobile TV, Wi-Fi and GPS. The U.S. market is expected to be 10 times that size, largely due to sales of Apple's iPod.

ARM926EJ core
Jade's Z228 is based on an embedded ARM926EJ core and uses Jazzelle Java. It supports MPEG-4 hardware encoding at up to 30fps-Simple Profile (Levels 0-3) and Advanced Simple Profile (Levels 4-6). Decode is up to 30fps and bit rates are up to 8Mbps. Encoding image resolutions ranges from 96-by-96 pixels to 640-by-480 pixels (VGA) in 4-by-4 steps; decoding ranges from 48-by-48 pixels to 640-by-480 pixels in steps of one macroblock.

China startup hinges hopes on media player chips

The design includes a multiport, low-latency SDRAM controller with programmable arbiter that connects as much as 8Mbyes of external SDRAM or mobile SDRAM running at 133MHz.

The developer is also leveraging the Z228 into IP camera applications by offering a macroblock-based motion-detection algorithm that users can set for sensitivity and detection range. The chip's network interface supports 10/100Mbit wired Ethernet and 802.11b/g WLAN. Video bit rates and frame rates are configurable, and supported resolutions range from QCIF to VGA.

For smart-phone applications, the Z228 comes in a 441-pin TFBGA, at 15-by-15mm, 0.65mm pitch. For other applications, the package is a 400-pin TFBGA, 17-by-17mm, 0.8mm pitch. Pricing is $14 to $15 for 10,000-piece quantities.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times




Article Comments - China startup hinges hopes on media ...
Comments:??
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:
?
?
Webinars

Seminars

Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

?
?
Back to Top