Broadcom Multimedia Processor Enables 20MP Cameraphones, 1080p Video Output

Smartphones have sure come a long way in a short amount of time. These days, we've got phones with 1GHz CPUs in them, and some netbooks can't even say that. But you know what the smartphone is still missing? 1080p playback, that's what. But if Broadcom has their way with things, that won't be the case for very long. The newly announced BCM2763 VideoCore IV Processor is a breakthrough offering for portable platforms and mobile phones, offering enough horsepower to crank through 1080p video, support 20MP photos and 1 Gigapixel graphics, all within a low-power 40nm design.

The all new multimedia processor is designed to work alongside a traditional CPU, but this one can fit in even tighter spaces and could absolutely enable all sorts of wild new functionality on phones. We're talking HDMI/DisplayPort output capabilities, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's no set price or release date for the chip ("2011" is as close as we're getting for now), but we're hoping they get it out to the HTCs and Motorolas of the world in short order. Snapdragon and Tegra just got some serious competition, and you can believe that's a good thing. Here are a few other highlights about the new, cutting-edge chip.

With the higher integration and significant power savings from 40nm CMOS process technology, the BCM2763 multimedia processor features the most advanced mobile high definition (HD) camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing, and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering for a world-class gaming experience. HD video, 3D games and high resolution 20 megapixel pictures can be displayed at top quality on full-sized HD televisions and monitors using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface. Additionally, the BCM2763's highly integrated architecture reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost to help drive sophisticated multimedia features into more affordable handsets.

Highlights/Key Facts:

  • The breadth and quality of Internet multimedia content is rapidly improving, with sites such as YouTube now supporting full HD 1080p video sharing. Consumers are also increasingly using cell phones as their primary digital camera and camcorder, which is driving demand for higher resolution and more sophisticated image processing which is currently only available on advanced standalone camcorders and cameras. Additionally, newer graphics-oriented user interfaces and mobile games now require enhanced graphics capabilities.
  • The new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor enables best-in-class performance in the following areas:
    • Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders).
    • Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode.
    • The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
  • In addition to providing these capabilities on new handsets, the BCM2763 has improved power savings using a 40nm process without draining the battery or significantly reducing talk time. Additional ultra-low power consumption features include:
    • 20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
    • 4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage.
    • Only 490 mW of chip power is required for 1080p camcorder H.264 High Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback.
    • Only 160 mW of power is required for mobile game graphics processing, supporting up to 1 gigapixel per second fill rates and improves graphics performance by a factor of 4x to 6x in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
  • The BCM2763 processor integrates the key functionality and components needed to drive advanced multimedia capabilities in new handsets. As a result of this high integration, the BCM2763 enables a lower overall BOM cost, enabling manufacturers to pass these lower costs on and introduce advanced features to lower tier phones than previously possible.
    • The BCM2763 integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory, video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0. 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics memory is stacked in a single package.
    • The 40nm process enables reduced power, improved performance and reduced handset board space.
  • Benefiting from an existing VideoCore software code base and legacy architecture, manufacturers of phones and other consumer electronics devices can easily add these new VideoCore IV multimedia features to their products, allowing faster time-to-market.
  • The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers (pricing available upon request). Handsets utilizing this new 40nm VideoCore IV multimedia processor technology are expected to reach the market in 2011.