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Application processor delivers Full HD in handsets

Posted: 04 May 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:application processor? Full HD? DSP? mobile handset?

SH7370 application processor

Renesas Technology Corp. has released the SH7370, SH-MobileHD application processor for mobile phones, which delivers Full high-definition (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) video recording and playback support. The video processing unit delivers approximately 6x the performance of comparable earlier products from Renesas, enabling support for Full HD video on a single chip. In addition to the low power consumption essential for mobile phones, the application processor also features robust multimedia functionality. It is available in a small package designed to facilitate more compact video and audio processing systems for mobile phones.

The device supports the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video compression standard (H.264) at Full HD video resolution with a playback/recording frame rate of 30fps. With a maximum operating frequency of 500MHz, the IC is approximately twice as fast as earlier comparable Renesas products. The SH-MobileHD1 incorporates two 24bit dedicated audio DSPs to lighten the audio processing load on the CPU and reduce power consumption. This enables one DSP to handle (stereo) audio processing such as the AAC high-quality audio compression standard and Dolby Digital codec, with power to spare, while the other DSP handles sonic enhancement such as equalization and sample rate conversion. In addition, heavy-load processing tasks such as 5.1-channel audio can be assigned to the dual DSPs. Support for Dolby Digital and 5.1-channel audio allow interoperation with applications designed for consumer audio components.

The processor also includes an interface that supports connection to a transmitter microchip that implements HDMI used for interconnections between AV components. This allows connection and output of Full HD resolution video to digital home electronics components such as LCD TVs or Blu-ray disc recorders. In addition, the SH-MobileHD1 can connect to an SD memory card and WLAN, and it supports multiplexing of the MPEG2-TS (transport system) and MP4 formats. Since MPEG2-TS is rapidly gaining popularity as a multiplexing format for HD and Full HD video in the digital home electronics field, support by the SH-MobileHD1 enables easy sharing of content between digital home electronics products and mobile phones. When content is stored as MP4 files, it can be shared easily over a network such as a WLAN. This helps increase the usability of video applications.

The SH-MobileHD1 also has a camera interface that supports direct connection to a 15Mpixel camera module. This allows high-speed importing of voluminous data from a high-resolution camera and makes possible a variety of display functions, including electronic zoom and superimposed effects such as an on-screen display function or hardware cursor function. There is also compatibility with BT.709 format YUV data as part the support for One-Seg TV broadcasts. This makes it possible to convert snippets of TV broadcast data to JPEG format with no degradation in image quality. The many on-chip peripheral functions suitable for mobile phone systems also include an LCD controller with support for 24bit TFT color LCD panels and a sound interface.

While SH-MobileHD1 supports Full HD video, it uses a compact 407-pin BGA package measuring 10mm x 11mm. The application processor and 512Mbit SDRAM are integrated into a single package as a system-in-package device for greater system compactness.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

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