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Chipset couples app processor with audio, power-mgmt chip

Posted: 12 Feb 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HD video  3D games  hi-fi music  mobile chipset 

STn8820 + STw4820

STMicroelectronics has introduced a chipset that couples ST's new multimedia application processor with a companion audio and power-management chip. This platform raises the bar in mobile multimedia, the company said, enabling smart phones and other portable devices to record and share HD video clips, receive mobile TV, playback days of hi-fi music and deliver 3D gaming experience.

A key element of ST's Nomadik STn8820 application processor combines distributed high-performance multicore processing with ultralow power consumption. The device integrates programmable smart accelerators for HD video, multichannel audio, digital still camera imaging and 2D/3D graphics, together with a powerful general-purpose ARM1176 core running at up to 532MHz.

Manufactured in ST's 65nm low-power CMOS process, the STn8820 handles video up to HD 720p resolution and plays all major standards, such as H.264 and VC-1, enabling video-on-the-go on any HDTV set. The embedded imaging engine produces still images at up to 8Mpixel resolution. The audio engines promise days of music playback in hi-fi quality and the display and graphics engines enable 3D user interfaces and vivid gaming experiences by leveraging the OpenGL-ES2.0 geometry peak performance of 33 million polygons per second.

A Nomadik companion chip, the STw4820, integrates supply and power management for both the application processor and device peripherals. The highly configurable and programmable chip features a +100dB audio codec subsystem, accessory detection capabilities and a touchscreen interface. An embedded high-speed USB-OTG transceiver offers fast data transfer and synchronisation.

With its level of integration, the STw4820 is said to reduce component costs and board-area requirements with no compromise in functionality. Compared with solutions based on several chips and discrete components, ST claims its new audio and power manager saves as much as 30 per cent of the BOM and 40 per cent of the device footprint.

"ST's Nomadik application processor brings consumer-device multimedia experience to wireless mobile devices," said Monica de Virgiliis, general manager of the wireless multimedia division within ST's Mobile, Multimedia & Communications Group. "The unique combination of superior processing performance with ultralow power consumption will enable handset users to watch HD video in real time, play music in hi-fi quality or immerse themselves in the life-like settings of a 3D world."

In addition to smart phones, ST's new Nomadik chipset can be used in mobile Internet devices, mobile computers, portable multimedia and navigation devices and in-car entertainment systems.

Samples of the new Nomadik chipset (STn8820 + STw4820) are already available, with volume production planned for Q4 2008. Chipset pricing is Rs.1,460.70 ($37) each in quantities of 10,000.

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