Ismini Scouras, EETimes EU(11/24/2008 12:01 AM EST)
From digital televisions to portable electronics, the H.264/AVC next-generation video compression standard is becoming mainstream. And major processor makers--mainly Japan-based firms--are facilitating that trend with chips that not only provide higher integration at lower cost and power, but aim to resolve encoding complexities and coding control challenges facing design engineers.
With the ability to achieve more than twice the compression ratio of the existing MPEG-2 standard, H.264/AVC is indeed a major advance in bringing better-quality video to electronics. The processor market is preparing to supply full-production SoCs that support the H.264/AVC standard. Though they may offer different functions and features, they all promise to deliver one thing: crisper video.
Japan-based Fujitsu, NEC Electronics, Renesas Technology and Sigma Designs are going strong in this sector, as are major U.S. chip companies, such as Broadcom, that are also looking to bring advanced functionality and differentiated features to digital TV designs.
In an effort to help OEMs quickly develop full-HD digital televisions with H.264/AVC compatibility at low cost, NEC has developed the EMMA3TL image processing SoC with a built-in analog A/V switch (for switching analog input signals when multiple devices are connected), high-speed video A/D converter, audio A/D converter, analog audio stereo decoder, HDMI receiver, audio D/A converter, USB host controller and an Ethernet controller.
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