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High-end processor aimed at multimedia portables

Posted: 29 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:multimedia processor  PMP  PND 

Freescale Semiconductor introduces the i.MX37 multimedia applications processor—a highly advanced device for portable media player (PMP), mobile internet and portable GPS navigation (PND) markets.

"With the i.MX37 processor platform and our recent acquisition of talent and technology from SigmaTel, Freescale is well positioned to engage with customers across a broad spectrum of the mobile consumer market—from simple audio players to sophisticated multimedia and portable GPS devices featuring high resolution video," said Paul Marino, general manager of Freescale's Multimedia Applications Division. "The introduction of the i.MX37 demonstrates our ongoing commitment to serve the PMP, PND and other markets with a wide array of offerings."

Freescale's first offering based on the ARM1176JZF-S core, the i.MX37 device delivers 532MHz at 1.0V. In lower performance applications such as A/V playback where power consumption is a primary concern, the i.MX37 processor can run at voltages under 1.0V to help achieve the longest possible battery life.

The i.MX37 multimedia applications processor is architected with Freescale's Smart Speed technology, an integrative approach that uses hardware accelerators to offload the CPU and a crossbar switch to bring parallelism to the system. The result is a processor that performs with a high clock speed, while conserving power for extended battery life.

The i.MX37 solution integrates Freescale's most advanced image processing unit (IPU) to date. Freescale's IPU v3D technology supports up to 24-bit colour depth at XGA resolution, enabling large display support for high-end multimedia players and mobile internet devices. When used in conjunction with the image processing unit, the processor's multimedia hardware acceleration delivers the rich playback experiences required on next-generation multimedia devices.

The device's multimedia hardware contains logic that decodes industry standard video formats such as MPEG4, H.264, WMV/VC-1, MPEG2 and H.263 up to 576 x 720 (D1) resolution, which offloads the ARM CPU. This, says Freescale, allows the processor to deliver rich user interfaces blended with video playback for an uncompromised user experience. The i.MX37 processor also includes an integrated PAL/NTSC encoder with triple video DACs to deliver a pristine picture on larger displays or televisions over component, composite or S-video interfaces.

Offered in a compact 10 x 10 MAPBGA package at 0.5mm pitch, the i.MX37 multimedia applications processor is designed to enable creation of sleek end devices featuring streamlined form factors. Initial sampling to selected customers is underway now in both Linux and WinCE board support packages. The i.MX37 will also be demonstrated at the Freescale Technology Forum next month.

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