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Media phone grabs spotlight at Computex

Posted: 04 Jun 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:media phone  Internet  touch-screen  IP vendor 

Further, ARC made hardware and software optimisation for its audio sub-system called AS211 SFX, according to the company.

They include: algorithm optimisation for Sonic Focus software, which reduced the processing load by 28 per cent; the use of dual MAC (multiply accumulate circuit) in ARC 600 core, resulting in Sonic Focus algorithm acceleration with19 per cent reduction of processing load. Other advancements include improved cache efficiency and less bus traffic in hardware, enabling less power and smaller area.

The new audio sub-system, combined with its media software framework, "will reduce the time-to-market, lower the cost and lower the risk for integration and verification time frames" for its SoC partners, Parnell summed up.

The ARC media software framework for media phones today is based on an MQX real-time operating system. Asked if ARC plans to support Google's Android, the company said, "It's under consideration."

Evolution of media phones
Meanwhile, what the market expects of media phones is most likely to evolve over time.

Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, a market research firm, for example, defines the media phone as something "that can deliver all forms of entertainment—games, photos, music, video, TV and web stuff" on the phone. He stressed that media phones need to handle "all of them, anything less is not a media phone, just a phone with a few features."

But then, how to distinguish a media phone from all the other new categories of connected CE devices?

Peddie said that the overlap or competition will be based on screen size. "MIDs and netbooks as well as media players (which included portable DVD players) and photo frames typically have screens that are greater than 4.5-inches up to 10-inches," he said. In contrast, "A media phone will typically top out at 3.5-inches, 4.0 inches max."

The market, however, may not be going in that direction, as media phones by OpenPeak and those by Samsung currently on the market already feature a 7-inch colour touch-screen display.

In the end, most likely to happen is what Strauss predicted: "I think that the ODMs and OEMs are waiting on the Computex 'exit polls' to decide if the concept has 'legs.'"

-Junko Yoshida
EE Times

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