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Audio processor enables 50hrs of music payback on cell phones

Posted: 29 Mar 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:uPD99910  audio processor  CPU  DSP  central processing unit 

NEC Electronics America Inc. launched an audio processor that is said to enable 50 hours of continuous music playback on cell phones. The single-chip uPD99910 audio processor integrates a CPU and DSP dedicated to music playback, and an interface dedicated to copyright protection media.

Designed to be a companion chip to an application processor, NEC's uPD99910 device incorporates an SD memory card interface and supports Content Protection for Recordable Media copyright protection technology whose SD-Audio function enables music data to be downloaded and played without copyright infringement.

In previous cell phone models, the CPU and DSP in the application processor were used to play back music and also for other types of processing, including video processing. As a result, the application processor's performance came at the expense of power efficiency. According to NEC, the audio processor does not need to engage the application processor.

The product's on-chip interface for an SD memory card, which includes a copyright protection function, are said to enable manufacturers to develop cell phones that support various SD memory card functions, including SD-binding, whereby purchased content can be transferred from an old machine to a new one using the same SD memory card.

Because the device is a companion chip, music can be played by downloading the playback programme from the application processor. The code used to run the programme can be stored in the application processor's flash memory, with only a small amount of music playback code stored in the audio processor. This, NEC says, reduces internal memory size. Moreover, external flash memory for storing programme code is not required.

Samples of the uPD99910 audio processor start at approximately Rs.597.38 ($13.50) and are available now. Mass production is scheduled to begin in April 2006 and is expected to reach 400,000 units per month. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

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