MPEG-4 ACCELERATOR IP CORE ACHIEVES ULTRA LOW POWER FOR MULTIMEDIA COMMUNICATIONS SILICON
Amphion MPEG-4 technology enables higher quality video streaming and multimedia messaging for wireless PDAs, multimedia terminals, and smart displays
Belfast, Northern Ireland and San Jose, California (October 15, 2001) - Amphion Semiconductor Ltd., the leading provider of semiconductor intellectual-property (SIP) for multimedia, wireless and broadband communications, has further widened its technology leadership in digital video compression with the announcement today of the industry's most efficient MPEG-4 Video decoder core for System-on-a-Chip (SoC) integration. The Amphion CS6750 is a highly optimized application-specific accelerator core (comprising direct-mapped hardware and control software) for MPEG-4 Simple Profile (Level 1 - Level 3) Video decode at milliwatt levels of power consumption. Available as a standalone solution for integration into any embedded processor environment, the CS6750 enables MPEG-4 compliant streaming video clips, video e-mail, and multimedia messaging services for next-generation digital video products.
Streaming Video solution for System-on-a-Chip
"The CS6750 is the semiconductor IP industry benchmark in application-specific accelerator cores for MPEG-4," said J.G. Doherty, Amphion's CEO. "As the lowest power, smallest area MPEG-4 core to include full post-processing, the CS6750 provides IC designers with a level of integration and performance that is unmatched. Amphion's ability to successfully combine a highly innovative architecture with intelligent power management now makes it technically and economically feasible for the widescale deployment of wireless digital video products."
The Amphion CS6750 MPEG-4 Video decoder is fully compliant with ISO 14496-2 Simple Profile, Level 1 to Level 3, with defined bit rates up to 384 kbits/sec. This core offers advanced features such as error resilience, integrated H.263 base-line, post-processing and color space conversion, yet requires less than 65K gates. As an illustration, at 15 frames/sec QCIF, the CS6750 requires only 12 MHz clocking, and provides full post-processing while using under 8 milliwatts in 180nm TSMC ASIC technology - and even less power in 130nm process technologies. Without post-processing, power consumption is reduced to about 4 milliwatts.
"Most practical MPEG-4 applications require post-processing," explained John McCanny, Chief Technology Officer at Amphion. "This is computationally intensive image filtering for de-ringing and de-blocking that typically requires twice as much processing as basic MPEG-4 decoding. It improves quality at low bit rates by smoothing the picture and removing motion artifacts. We expect our OEM customers will gain market advantage because consumers expect quality video. The great thing is we can do it and save battery life. That's a big relief for 3G phone designers."
The CS6750 accelerator core effectively liberates any embedded processor from the high computational load of decoding MPEG-4 Video. This enables the program developer to re-assign scarce processing power to the execution of value-added applications. The CS6750 comes complete with its own controller software, and has the added advantage of upgradability to handle future enhancements to the MPEG-4 standard. Early 2002, Amphion will introduce an equally impressive MPEG-4 Video codec. Looking further ahead, the Amphion architecture scales to handle higher bit rate video for studio quality applications such as digital cinema distribution. CTO McCanny added, "Direct-mapped DSP accelerator cores are clearly the wave of the future. Amphion technology has turned quite a few heads, and we are engaged today in multiple license opportunities."
Applications beyond Wireless
The CS6750 decoder is ideal for wireless applications such as mobile videophones and PDAs, and it can even be directly integrated into smart video displays to enable an exciting array of portable lightweight wireless video devices that otherwise would be too costly to produce. Amphion MPEG-4 technology also provides advantages for high-end solutions such as video conferencing, Internet video streaming, and next-generation set-top boxes.
The CS6750 joins the Amphion range of video and imaging products which also includes a High-Definition MPEG-2 Video Decoder core for ASIC, an MP@ML MPEG-2 Video Decoder for FPGA, and Motion-JPEG cores for ASIC and FPGA. Technical datasheets and databooks for Amphion MPEG and JPEG products are available at www.amphion.com/video.html
Amphion is the leading supplier of application-specific cores for IP-based System-on-a-Chip (SoC) integrated circuit designs for multimedia, wireless and broadband communications. Amphion delivers high-performance solutions for video and image compression, advanced encryption, and speech and channel coding with a comprehensive range of silicon-optimized products. Using proprietary techniques for the direct-mapping of processing functions and algorithms into hardware, Amphion develops and licenses semiconductor intellectual-property (SIP) cores that realize 10X to 1000X improvements in performance over conventional implementations using software-programmable DSP processors. Amphion is a privately held company with corporate headquarters and engineering in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK and worldwide sales and marketing headquarters in San Jose, California. Amphion was formerly known as Integrated Silicon Systems Ltd, or ISS. For more information, visit http://www.Amphion.com
Notes to Editors
Amphion, The Amphion logo, and "Virtual Components for the Converging World" are trademarks of Amphion Semiconductor Ltd. All other brand names or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
David Mann, Amphion
Europe: +44 28 9050 4040
Ron Sailors, Amphion
North America: (408) 441-1248