Highly flexible control processor for elementary stream processing of multi standard video streams which can be interfaced to any video processing engine
Vienna, August 3rd, 2005 - ON DEMAND Microelectronics (abbr.: ODM) has today announced the launch of the Video Control Processor (abbr.: VCP) for elementary stream processing of multi standard video streams in HD, the present future of high quality consumer video systems and broadcast services. ODM, a rapidly growing IP vendor is a one-stop- shop provider of DTV solutions including demodulation, decoding and image processing remedies allowing manufacturers to introduce products that will enable this market. Due to the modular and highly flexible design of the VCP it can be interfaced to any video processing engine via the given data interface thus off-loading entropy decoding tasks from the main processor engine. ODM's VCP is the first module available in the market that processes the elementary stream in software, but despite of the software-programmability ODM's solution is highly competitive in terms of area, resulting in a very cost- effective solution with minimized design and production costs.
New HD Video Standards
The newly emerging video standards such as VC1 and H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding), also known as MPEG4 Part 10, are super efficient video technologies producing high quality video at lower data rates than current solutions for everything from High Definition TV and DVD to 3G mobile phones. Broadcast services using H.264 need significantly less bandwidth than the currently broadly used MPEG2 coding scheme, compression efficiency is improved by more than 50% and at a much lower bit rate, allowing broadcasters to economically transmit more high definition program content. These technical developments result in two main challenges for the digital video market: One challenge lies in the general trend towards the use of multi format video codecs as broadcasters going to AVC will still use the widely established MPEG2 standard on the chip, next to H.264 and VC-1. Another challenge of HD formats lies in the high demand of processing power for HD resolutions, which no DSP available in the market can manage. ODM's answer to these HDTV market demands of multi-standard ability and high processing power is SVEN, the Scalable Video ENgine.
SVEN - Optimized Platform for High-End Digital Video
SVEN is a programmable video solution platform enabling applications like programmable, multi standard video decoder decoding standards such as H.264, VC-1, MPEG2 etc. for resolutions up to 1080i/720p. The SVEN platform enables seamlessly integrated single chip solutions with extreme parameters at lowest costs, making it ideal for the target market of digital consumer electronics. The platform sketched in the block diagram includes a video processing engine, a picture memory controller as well as the IP to process entropy decoding tasks. It contains enhanced instructions for CABAC as well as a Binarization Extension.
Multi Standard Video Decoding
The VCP has been designed as part of SVEN and is therefore ideally suited for stream parsing and control processing of multi standard video decoding. In the VCP the incoming MPEG transport stream is fed from the demodulator into a stream parser which performs the transport stream demultiplexing and bitstream controlling tasks like PID Filtering. The VCP is controlled by MIMD commands to guarantee full utilization of all parallel processing units (slots) at all times. Each of these slots has its own data memory and is optimized to handle sequential programs. Since typical program implementations include many jumps, the VCP uses only a 3 stage instruction pipeline to maximize the program throughput by minimizing the number of cycle stalls at each jump. Two neighboring slots can work in parallel to allow conditional executions within a single cycle. The number of slots can be defined, depending on the actual processing power needs of the end-product.
ODM's VCP is utilized in performing various standard entropy decoding tasks. Entropy decoding algorithms such as VLC, CAVLC, CABAC or Exp Golomb are implemented using instruction plug-ins. These plug-ins are directly interfaced to the VCP, and therefore can be used as very powerful commands within the VCP program. The CABAC extension enables the VCP to parse and decode CABAC encoder syntax elements. ODM's VCP also supports the decoding of Variable Length Coded values. The VCP has sufficient processing power to process all types of elementary streams, such as H.264 or MPEG2 for HD formats. It is scalable in terms of processing power and configurable in terms of instructions, memory size and data path accuracy, giving the customer the option to tailor the VCP exactly to the demands of their target application, resulting in optimized chip area. The fact that ODM's VCP is the first RISC architecture available in the market to process multi standard elementary streams in HD makes it an indispensable module for any digital video applications.
About ON DEMAND Microelectronics
ON DEMAND Microelectronics is an IP vendor and IC design house that provides innovative turn-key solutions for System-on-Chip designs for telecommunication and multimedia applications. The flagship product is the Vector Signal Processor (VSP) which is available for licensing to semiconductor manufacturers and system providers as an IP core. The research and development services of the 7 year old team incorporate algorithm development as well as analog, digital and mixed signal chip design. The company headquartered in Vienna/Austria has successfully completed projects under contract with e.g. Analog Devices, Alcatel, Ericsson and New Logic.