18 November 2009

Imagination delivers latest HD video encoder IP core with full H.264 High Profile capability

POWERVR VXE380 delivers the highest quality multi-standard HD encode of any synthesisable IP core

Yokohama, Japan: Imagination Technologies, the leading multimedia chip technologies company, announces POWERVR VXE380, the latest member of Imaginations third generation video encoder IP family, which delivers multi-standard encoding of video, now including H.264 High Profile (HP), at HD resolutions.

The newest member of the POWERVR VXE encoder family delivers the highest quality encode ever seen in a synthesisable IP core, and offers the most complete implementation of the High and Main Profile toolsets of any IP core available in the market today.  This translates to improved image quality at all bit rates, and enables ultra-low bitrates to be achieved for encoded streams with minimum degradation from the original source image data.

Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: "With the relentless growth in demand for high quality user-generated content in all forms of mobile devices, we've seen tremendous interest in our VXE HD video encoder products. Our partners have evaluated our advanced encoding algorithms used in VXE380 against many other solutions, and the feedback we're getting indicates we have a winning solution that is the ideal complement to the growing numbers of HD resolution image sensors now being deployed in mobile devices."

Imagination will be delivering a paper on POWERVR VXE technology at Embedded Technology in Yokohama from 18-20th November 2009.

POWERVR VXE encodes video sequences and still images to a wide range of compression standards including H.264 High, Main and Baseline Profiles, H.263, MPEG-4, M-JPEG and JPEG. These cores offload the entire video/still encode processing to hardware, minimising host CPU processing load, enabling lowest power solutions without compromising performance. The core is fully supported by an accompanying software stack, which includes an OpenMAX IL compliant API under Linux.

The core is scalable, allowing Full HD video to be encoded, as well as offering the ability to record at extremely high frame rates (e.g. >1200 fps at QVGA) for detailed slow motion capture – one of the most sought after features for encoders today.  Support for 4K resolutions is also possible, due to Imagination's unique scalable architecture.

The third generation, intelligent motion search algorithm dramatically reduces memory bandwidth requirements, whilst offering an even larger effective search range to give the best possible video quality and compression ratios. As memory access is one of the key sources of high power consumption for a SoC (System-on-Chip), this reduction in bandwidth also helps lower the overall SoC power requirements. 

The IP core contains a small embedded 32-bit META processor, which ensures that the rate control algorithms are both flexible and highly capable, without burden or reliance on the host processor.  This flexibility gives designers the ability to meet specific rate control requirements for the most demanding applications.

The VXE380 IP core, like all of Imagination's IP cores, is designed with ease of system integration in mind, requiring minimal external components, supporting memory interfaces optimised for all popular DRAMs including the latest DDR3 devices.

The POWERVR VXE family of encoders is ideal for a wide range of consumer and embedded applications including mobile phones, digital cameras, Blu-Ray disc authoring, portable media players, video conferencing, surveillance, personal navigation devices, personal video recorders and hardware encode accelerators.

The POWERVR VXE380 IP core is available for licensing now.

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication silicon technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor cores for graphics, video, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP and multi-standard communications applications. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by strong array of software tools and drivers as well as extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets includemobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics.Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.

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