Mobile High-Definition Video Processors

Today we saw two announcements, one from Texas Instruments and the other from NVIDIA announcing new mobile chipsets that support high-definition video for mobile devices.

Mobile devices are clearly the next frontier to conquer in terms of high-definition support for capturing and playback of mobile HD video.  NVIDIA is aggressively pursing this opportunity in the mobile market with "the world's lowest power, high definition computer on a chip" that tears through 720p video.

Mobile High Definition Video Processors

Texas Instruments are hoping that their new "pico" projector chipsets and new high-end chipsets that support and enable encoding and decoding of high-definition video on the hanset will help them take back market share from rival and leader, Qualcomm.  Pico projectors can be used to project large screens which will help to mitigate the complaints from consumers that mobile content is too small to view on a handset screen.  These new mobile devices with pico projectors are expected to be available within a year's time.

Texas Instruments also announced at the show that its latest mobile application chip, the OMAP3440, will enable consumers record high-definition video on their cell phones and will be available for handset makers to test in the second quarter.  Previously TI's chips did offer support for HD video playback but not for recording.
Here is the release from Texas Instruments:

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 11, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- DLP(R) Technology from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN), announced today production availability of a DLP Pico(TM) chipset, which includes an imaging chip and a processor to enable a new class of handheld and mobile projection products. These ground breaking chips, which will be available in the second half of 2008, deliver functionality that will improve the visual display experience from handheld devices and transform their use from "tiny screen" viewing to "big picture" viewing allowing others to share in the video and graphics experience. The DLP pico-projector prototype will be on display in the Texas Instruments booth located in Hall 8, #8A84 at the 2008 GSMA Mobile World Congress.

Mobile High Definition Video Processors

Building upon the recent excitement and momentum DLP generated at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in January where the pico-projector garnered several best of show awards from top outlets, the DLP Pico chipset is geared to meet the growing mobile needs of consumers for communication and entertainment devices. While tiny by nature and easily able to fit into a mobile device, this new DLP offering produces unmatched image quality that leverages the core technologies behind hallmark DLP home theater projectors and DLP Cinema(R).

Taking multimedia content beyond the confines of mobile devices, the DLP Pico chipset can be paired with a TI OMAP application processor to deliver the ultimate mobile user experience. The best-in-class imaging, video and graphics processing capabilities enabled by OMAP processors, paired with the DLP Pico chipset projection and imaging capabilities provide the perfect combination for "big picture" viewing of content stored on mobile devices.

"Transforming and improving the way content is experienced from mobile devices has taken a giant step forward with the announcement of production availability of DLP Pico chipset," said Frank J. Moizio, business manager, emerging markets for TI's DLP Front Projection. "Working with our partners (Foxconn, Sypro, and Young Optics), we are delighted by the image quality that this chipset is capable of producing in their products -- it truly has to be seen to be believed."

"Texas Instruments is making headway in an untapped market and appears to be forging a leadership position. We expect projection within handset devices to start appearing in 2009, in a market where significant volumes are expected over the next five years." said Bill Coggshall, founder of independent projector market research experts Pacific Media Associates. "This is an exciting time for the projection industry and TI is leading the way.

The DLP Pico(TM) chipset will consist of the DLP Pico(TM) chip and the DLP Pico(TM) processor (DDP1500 and DDP1505). The DPP1500 is targeted at embedded applications for handheld devices, while the DDP1505 will serve the standalone handheld companion market. The DLP Pico solution delivers an aperture ratio of more than 92 percent, tens of thousands of pixel elements, switching speeds of less than 20 microseconds and DarkChip(TM) native contrast ratio process technology. In addition, the chipset is capable of displaying the widest color gamuts possible with the flexibility to operate with the latest in LED illumination technology. DLP enables safe, affordable and reliable products that will not fade or degrade over time and use.

With more than 15 million units shipped to date, DLP has an excellent track record of meeting the demand associated with the high volume mobile device market. This new chip builds upon a tradition of reliability associated with DLP which is known for industry-leading picture reliability.

About Texas Instruments DLP Products:  DLP display technology from Texas Instruments offers clarity down to the most minute detail, delivering pictures rich with color, contrast and brightness to large-screen HDTVs and projectors for business, home, professional venue and digital cinema (DLP Cinema(R)). 50 of the world's top projection and display manufacturers design, manufacture and market products based on DLP technology. DLP is the only HDTV technology built from a foundation in the digital cinema where it set the industry standard demonstrated by the deployment of DLP Cinema technology in 5,500 theaters worldwide. At the heart of every DLP chip is an array of up to 2.2 million microscopic mirrors which switch incredibly fast to create a high resolution, highly reliable, full color image. DLP technology's chip architecture and inherent speed advantage provides razor-sharp images and excellent reproduction of fast motion video. Since early 1996, more than 15.5 million DLP subsystems have been shipped. For more information, please visit www.dlp.com.

About Texas Instruments: Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 25 countries. For more information, www.ti.com.

DLP and DLP Cinema are registered trademarks of Texas Instruments.

Here is the release from NVIDIA:

NVIDIA INTRODUCES APX 2500 - THE WORLD'S LOWEST POWER, HIGH DEFINITION COMPUTER ON A CHIP New NVIDIA Applications Processor and Microsoft Windows Mobile Combine to Enable Smartphone 2.0 MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2008--BARCELONA, SPAIN--FEBRUARY 11, 2008

NVIDIA Corporation, the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today introduced NVIDIA® APX 2500, a breakthrough applications processor that enables intuitive 3D user interfaces and engaging high definition video on connected Windows Mobile phones. The APX 2500 applications processor uniquely delivers an unprecedented 10 hours of 720p HD playback - an industry first for video quality and power consumption on a mobile device, as well as stunning HD camcorder and ultra-high resolution photo imaging capabilities.

"This is the dawn of the second personal computer revolution," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "Technologies are converging in amazing mobile devices that have all of the rich, visual capabilities of a modern PC -- from watching movies and making video calls to surfing the web and playing 3D games. The APX 2500 combined with Microsoft Windows Mobile, will make the next generation of smartphones our most personal computer."

NVIDIA® has worked closely with Microsoft on the development of APX 2500, marking a significant milestone in a long term relationship that has seen the companies share a passion for making interaction with technology more visual and instinctive across multiple platforms. The combined engineering efforts of the two companies will ensure that next generation versions of the Windows Mobile operating system will harness the capabilities of the APX 2500 applications processor across challenging multimedia use cases.

"Microsoft is dedicated to providing people true mobile freedom, so that they only need to carry one device for both communication and entertainment," said Todd Warren, corporate vice president of the mobile communication business, Microsoft Corp. "We are delighted to work with NVIDIA to offer our users an amazing visual experience on the next-generation Windows Mobile phones."

The NVIDIA APX 2500 applications processor, which is the culmination of 800 man years of engineering, delivers:

  • The industry's first HD (720p) playback and capture capability for handheld devices.
  • A new ultra-low power (ULP) GeForce® core, fully OpenGL ES 2.0 and Microsoft® Direct3D®

Mobile compliant and the lowest power 3D hardware solution available for the acceleration of intuitive 3D user interfaces.

  • NVIDIA nPower technology, enabling over 10 hours of high-definition video playback and up to 100 hours of audio - more than 4 times the audio playback of the latest touch-screen phones.
  • The connectivity and media acceleration technologies required to enable the latest web 2.0 applications, from effortless web browsing and social networking, to GPS and mapping applications.

The NVIDIA APX 2500 applications processor is sampling today with key customers and will enter into full production by the end of Q2 2008.Nvidia's solution will compete with Intel's own Silverthorne chips and other x86-based solution.

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