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STMicro unveils multimedia application processors

Posted: 06 Feb 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:stmicroelectronics? nomadik? multimedia application processor? arm926ej s? multimedia processor?

STMicroelectronics has unveiled its Nomadik family of multimedia application processors that enables portable terminals to play music, take pictures, record video, and host two-way visual communication in real time.

They are targeted at 2.5G/3G mobile phones, PDAs, and other portable wireless products with multimedia capability, as well as in automotive multimedia application.

Manufactured using the company's CMOS technology, the processors are claimed to offer low power consumption, facilitated further by the partitioning of the chips between hardware and software. This results to an extended battery life required by battery-powered devices.

The chips are based on the combination of an ARM926EJ-S core together with programmable 'smart accelerators' that operate independently and concurrently to handle key video and audio coding functions, including pre/post-processing. Since multimedia functions are not typically executed on the main processor core, there is more headroom for adding new software applications in the future.

The ARM core runs at up to 350MHz in ST's 130nm CMOS process and up to 500MHz in ST's 90nm CMOS process. It includes on-board cache, Java acceleration in hardware, and real-time debug support.

The programmable audio smart-accelerator implements the digital audio encoders and decoders including MP3, MPEG2-Layer II, MPEG2/4-AAC, and Dolby Digital. The programmable video smart accelerator supports H.263 and MPEG-4 codecs, with the H.264 standard to be available in future Nomadik implementations.

The Nomadik processors are designed to be compliant with the OMAPI software and hardware interface standard and supports the Symbian OS, Microsoft WinCE, and Linux OSs. The ICs also offer a standard baseband modem interface to provide modem independence for mobile phone systems.

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