18 November 2009

Imagination's POWERVR VXD390 adds key new functions to maximise system level performance

Latest video decoder IP core further extends technology lead

Yokohama, Japan: Imagination Technologies, the leading multimedia chip technologies company, announces the latest member of its video decode IP core family, POWERVR VXD390: a low power, high performance, multi-standard and multi-stream high definition, hardware video decoder IP core that now also offers a broadcast quality video scaler, robust error and non-compliant stream handling capabilities, enhanced JPEG processing and optimisations for DDR3 memory support. 

VXD390 has support for all international broadcast standards including, MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1, AVS and other key video standards including Sorenson Spark. VXD390 supports MPEG-4 and H.264 profiles to enable customers to create a DivX® format compliant solution.

VXD390 is capable of decoding full high-definition H.264 L4.2 (1080P60) and can decode multiple streams simultaneously to fully meet Blu-ray and other multi stream decode requirements. It has industry leading low frequency requirements, typical H.264 High profile streams being decoded with a clock rate of just 70MHz.

 POWERVR VXD HD video decode cores have been proven in a growing portfolio of devices now shipping from leading OEMs. Imagination's video decoder family is already shipping in a wide range of markets including: netbook, MID, navigation, phone and media player.

Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: "POWERVR VXD has a major impact on multimedia system performance by not only performing the core video decode function, but additionally handling errors, non compliant streams, and rotating or scaling the output image, tasks which traditionally require multiple cycles on the host CPU or GPU. Our core leaves almost 100% of the system CPU & GPU free, requiring only a few mips for the drivers. This is particularly important for mobile platforms where every clock cycle and memory access counts, but also has a big impact on the new wave of power conscious consumer products."

POWERVR video cores are targeted at a wide range of applications including mobile devices, HDTV, IDTV, set top box (STB), Blu-ray  and media players and are supported by an extensive set of hardware drivers and growing ecosystem of partners providing support for the POWERVR video decode and encode family of IP cores.

Inside POWERVR VXD390

The POWERVR VXD family is already the industry's low system bandwidth leader. With the debut of VXD390 it has been optimised to work efficiently with the latest DDR3 memories, whilst maintaining compatibility with all other major memory standards.

Post processing capabilities have also been enhanced, adding to the rotation function found in the earlier VXD380. The addition of a broadcast quality scaler enables HD video to be scaled down to fit the required display resolution, leading to bandwidth savings of around 100 Mbytes/sec compared with using an external scaler, as well as associated power savings from limiting memory accesses.

The POWERVR VXD390 also includes an enhanced JPEG decoder to enable high-performance still image browsing - increasingly a key function in many of today's demanding user interfaces.

POWERVR VXD's stream processing and IP core management is handled by Imagination's META embedded processor for maximum flexibility. This performs all header decoding, allowing the VXD390 to cope with non-standard bit streams. The host CPU interacts with the META-based stream manager for error recovery and concealment options which include comprehensive error trapping and reporting so that customisable recovery and concealment strategies can be implemented that match the needs of each individual end-application, even when used in multi-stream decode environments. The META processor also controls and reconfigures the various hardware engines that deliver the VXD390's ultra low power on a frame by frame basis.

VXD 390 supports all HD resolutions and can be configured on a time division multiplex basis to handle single, dual and multi-stream HD decoding. This allows functions such as picture-in picture and multi-picture menus for advanced EPG applications.

Imagination's highly respected advanced power management techniques ensure that all POWERVR VXD cores have low power requirements enabling HD video to be consumed for hours at a time on power-constrained devices such as portable media players and mobile phones.

POWERVR VXD 390 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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