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Multimedia processor promises powerful user experience

Posted: 10 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Renesas? SH7722? SH-Mobile? SH-MobileR? processor?

Renesas Technology America's SH7722 single-chip processor is aimed at video and digital TV enabled devices, including car navigation systems, portable media players and VoIP video phones. The processor supports next-generation video standards and minimizes power consumption for long battery life.

By achieving 478MIPS performance in the Dhrystone v2.1 benchmark, the device enables multimedia systems to deliver powerful user experiences. Built on Renesas' SH-Mobile Series platform, the SH-MobileR device adds a new level of multimedia capability for applications beyond mobile phones.

Video processing
At the heart of SH7722 is a hardware video processing unit that supports the video decoding and moving-image processing necessary for the reception of terrestrial digital broadcasting services, and a hardware image processing engine. The video processing unit is a very low power hardware engine for compressing and decompressing video in H.263, MPEG-4 and H.264 formats used in digital broadcasting, portable media appliance, and IP networked video telephony applications. The device minimizes total power consumption while displaying smooth moving images equivalent to that of a standard TV when decoding a compressed signal at bit rates up to 8Mbps.

To complete the host-based solution, the processor integrates a camera interface that allows direct connection to a 5Mpixel-class camera module. This versatile low power hardware implementation enables a rich set of image-processing functions, including image scaling, rotate, color conversion, and blending of multiple planes of images. A built-in JPEG hardware accelerator enables the fast capture and display of JPEG images, while an on-chip 24bit TFT color LCD controller delivers excellent image quality. An on-chip 2D graphics accelerator delivers responsive GUI performance for enhanced graphic quality. The application processor also has a video output unit for connections to NTSC and PAL TVs.

The device incorporates an SH4AL-DSP CPU core that runs at speeds up to 266MHz providing 478MIPS of performance for the parallel processing of a browser and multiple large-load applications, as well as interactions with a general-purpose OS such as Linux.

A 64bit wide bus allows connections to data stored in external SDRAM, and an on-chip USB 2.0 function (high-speed compatible) enables fast links to PCs. The device also has a 4Gbit NAND/AND flash memory interface with an error correction code (ECC) capability that has been improved from three to four symbols, as well as an SD memory card (SD memory/SD I/O) interface. The SD memory card interface supports an optional CPRM function, enabling the implementation of terrestrial digital broadcast recording and playback.

To accelerate system designs, the SH7722 is supported by a Linux software solution that includes open source tools and device driver code for the SH-MobileR based Solution Engine development platform.

For that platform, Renesas has developed and integrated highly efficient multimedia middleware, including H.264, MPEG-4, as well as MP3, Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), G.7xx series speech codecs and echo cancellation algorithms. Certain Digital Rights Management (DRM) functions are also available for the design of audio-visual systems that protect copyrighted material. In addition, third-party partner companies are working to pre-qualify V2IP stacks, 2D and 3D graphics libraries, and other key technologies used in embedded multimedia applications that use the SH-MobileR application processor.

The 266 MHz SH7722 is housed in a 449-pin BGA. The unit is priced at $25.60 in sampling quantities. It's available starting this month.

- Marty Gold

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