Multi-format ICs enable high-res video in low-cost handsets - Embedded.com

Multi-format ICs enable high-res video in low-cost handsets

With handset cost and battery life primary design criteria, the challenges of incorporating video capability are extensive. Hantro has developed two devices that enable the encoding and decoding of high-resolution video in the most resource limited environments. Enabling up to SDTV resolution with 30 frames/s, the 6170 decoder and 6270 encoder provide support for MPEG-4 simple profile, H.263 profile 0, and H.264/AVC baseline, as well as JPEG still images up to 16 Mpixels.

Optimized for integration into wireless baseband or application processors, the encoder and decoder offload all of the computationally heavy tasks from the CPU to dedicated hardware acceleration, which makes high resolutions possible without the need for a more costly processor core. When compared to a full software solution running in an ARM9, the 6170 and 6270 can deliver up to a 97% reduction in CPU load with a 50% saving in power consumption.

The 6170 decoder incorporates a host of post-processing features that improve visual performance, simplify device integration and facilitate application development. The 6270 benefits from an efficient indexed full-search motion-estimation algorithm. By utilizing all block sizes from 4 by 4 through 16 by 16, with quarter-pixel accuracy, the algorithm delivers a 4X speed increase over more complex full search algorithms without a loss in visual quality. The speed increase enables VGA/D1 resolution encoding with 100- to 166-MHz clock frequency in AHB/OCP bus based SoCs.

Both the encoder and decoder employ a common API, making it easy to migrate existing applications developed for previous generation hardware or software codecs to the 6170 and 6270. For more information, visit www.hantro.com.

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