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Media processor delivers improved video resolution

Posted: 29 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video processor? interface? HDMI?

Integrated Device Technology Inc. (IDT) has released the Vida processor (IDT VHD1900), its first consumer video processor from its acquisition of Silicon Optix in October, which aims to clean up artifacts in Internet and mobile video for big-screen TVs and digital media players.

The company sees an opportunity sorting out the collision between an expanding array of low-bit-rate video from the Web and cellphones and the growth in high definition flat-panel TVs where consumers want to view that video.

"Consumers are bandwidth limited and the way people get around that is by over-compressing video," said Derry Murphy, senior strategic marketing manager for video chips at IDT. "Many times the content is encoded with different codecs and scaling techniques so that by the time a consumer device gets the video the noise is baked in," he added.

The Vida chip adds a handful of new techniques to the adaptive de-interlacing and other features carried over from past Silicon Optix processors. For example, the chip's StreamClean processing reduces or eliminates blocking artifacts as well as so-called temporal or random noise and mosquito noise that blur the edges of objects.

The Vida chip also sports updated resolution enhancement algorithms for improving video resolution from PC-class to standard definition or from standard to high definition. The chip also supports an expanded (so-called xvYcc) color gamut and capabilities to let viewers enhance just a small portion of the color spectrum that may be misadjusted.

IDT faces a number of well-established video processor makers ranging from Broadcom and NXP to Texas Instruments and Zoran. Thus it has made its chip relatively easy for system makers to adopt as an adjunct to existing merchant devices or proprietary SoCs.

The company redesigned its algorithms for optimal efficiency, enabling its device to require no external memory, fit into a 128-pin TQFP package and sell for $25 in thousands. It uses a vanilla 36bit TTL interface to bring in and put out 12bit color to and from any existing interconnect ranging from LVDS to Displayport or HDMI.

The chip will be in production in August, aiming for design wins in DVD and Blu-ray players, TVs, STBs and other digital video systems. As a standalone company, Silicon Optix had design wins in TV sets from Samsung and Visio among others.

"IDT has demonstrated video enhancement which delivers pixel-popping performance even when viewing popular Internet video sites which traditionally look grainy or blotchy on other TVs or PCs," said Richard Doherty, principal of consulting firm Envisioneering Group, speaking in an IDT press statement.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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