Belfast, UK Amphion Semiconductor has developed a high definition H.264/AVC hardware video decoder core for digital television applications including cable and satellite set-top boxes, DVD players, home gateways and media centre PCs.
The Amphion CS7050 H.264 decoder core is compliant with ITU-T Recommendation H.264 ISO/IEC 14496-10 4 Advanced Video Coding Standard at Main Profile up to Level 4.1.
This standard, developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG), provides significant improvement over all previous video compression standards. Within the H.264 coding algorithm, the maximum levels of compression are achieved by using novel techniques, such as variable block size motion estimation, to improve the coding efficiency and the quality of the video output.
The computational complexity of practical realizations of the H.264 standard, particularly for real-time HD decoding, exceeds those of previous coding schemes and this may limit its rapid widespread adoption. To address this, Amphion has developed a fully compliant hardware H.264 video decoder IP core which can be readily integrated into next generation multi-million gate systems on chip (SoC) solutions.
The CS7050 is capable of decoding Main Profile video streams at resolutions up to 2Kx1K and at frame rates up to 30 frames per second when clocked at 266MHz. The implementation requires less than 300K gates and 24 MB of external system memory.
It is available on both ASIC and FPGA technologies, engineered by Amphion for optimal performance while minimising power consumption and silicon area.
Amphion also has in development a range of H.264 products targeting further profiles for a wider range of application areas and is also developing optimized solutions for Windows Media 9.