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Media processors offer MPEG-4, JPEG hardware encoding, decoding

Posted: 23 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fujitsu microelectronics america? mobile media processor? mmp? mpeg-4? mb86v00?

Fujitsu Microelectronics America Inc.'s two new Mobile Media Processors (MMPs) for mobile phones and other handheld devices boast MPEG-4 and JPEG hardware encoding and decoding functionality. The units are available now.

The MB86V00 and MB86V01 devices include two-dimensional and three-dimensional (2D/3D) graphics accelerators with a 24bpp display controller. Two camera modules (up to 2 Megapixels) can be attached to the MMPs simultaneously via a YUV interface, and can be activated at alternating intervals.

Each of the new units can interface with two LCDs, enabling users to display multiple images simultaneously on two separate screens as is required for flip phone designs. The devices feature a flexible CPU interface that enables easy connection to existing baseband or application processors.

Other features include the ability to display three windows, and to mix multiple visual images using alpha blending (transparency). The devices also provide hardware support for image scaling and rotation, and also include BitBlt and texture-mapping features.

When the internal clock operates at 13.5MHz, and the MPEG-4 codec (QCIF at 15fps) is functioning, the device consumes 13mW (excluding I/Os), a much lower power consumption than any other such device. It is also possible to operate the MPEG-4 codec (QVGA at 15fps) with the internal clock at 54MHz, allowing not only low power consumption but also high performance.

To eliminate the need for external memory, the MB86V00 device incorporates 64Mbits of SDRAM as a system-in-package. To minimize power requirements, sophisticated clock-gating techniques shut down logical functions when they are not needed or not in use. The advanced power management hardware is managed by Fujitsu's firmware that monitors various chip activities and throttles the clocks accordingly.

"Adding one of these MMPs to the central processor typically found in handheld devices enables the device to handle sophisticated graphics with ultra-low power consumption," said Keith Horn, VP of marketing for Fujitsu Microelectronics America. "With the proliferation of features in mobile phones and PDAs, there is a growing need for a specialized application processor to handle multimedia functions without sacrificing battery life. Our new devices meet those requirements."

When mounted in a 3G mobile phone, the MMP captures images through one of the two camera ports and then compresses the images using JPEG for still shots, or MPEG-4 for moving pictures. The processor will also render 2D graphics for maps, or 3D graphics for games and other forms of animation. The MMP incorporates two LCD interfaces, so images can be displayed on either one or two LCD screens.

To ensure that all these functions perform optimally and do not interfere with each other, Fujitsu provides OS-independent driver software equipped with host processor support code. The software performs power-management operations by monitoring I/O and macro block activity, and determines when to throttle the various clock domains up or down. The optimized driver tools significantly reduce development time and increase device efficiency.

Built using Fujitsu's low-leakage 0.18?m CMOS process, the MMPS are housed in 289-pin FBGA packages. The MB86V00 device incorporates 64Mbits of SDRAM as a system-in-package, and mass production of both MB86V00 and MB86V01 will start in September. Samples are available now at $45 each.

- Marty Gold


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