Fujitsu Launches Digital HDTV

Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL) on Wednesday announced that it has developed a digital HDTV system-on-chip (SoC) that integrates a video processing engine for superior picture quality, and a full high-definition (full HD, 1920 dots x 1080 lines) multi-decoder that decodes both MPEG-2(*1) and H.264(*2) video compression formats. The new chip, the MB86H70, is aimed for digital TVs receiving high-definition broadcasts that are ramping up in Europe.

The chip is an application specific standard product (ASSP) (*3), that features a video processing engine that was co-developed with Fujitsu Laboratories Limited. By also including a proprietary picture quality adjustment tool that makes it possible for picture adjustment parameters to be easily set simply by using a mouse, the new LSI enables TV set makers to dramatically improve their design efficiencies for picture quality settings. Furthermore, SoC integration of the video processing engine and multi-decoder allow common memory to be used, enabling use of the chip by simply adding two 16-bit external memories and thereby reducing TV set makers’ costs and development cycles for both design development and manufacturing.

Sample shipment of this new SoC will start from mid-October 2008. Currently, in various regions such as Europe, digital TV broadcasting is offered in standard definition (SD) using the MPEG-2 video compression format. Next-generation broadcasts will be in HD, and it has been decided that H.264 will be the main format to be used. For example in France, HD digital TVs that are scheduled to be released to the market from the end of 2008 are required to be equipped with H.264 decoders. Thus, demand from the European TV market for high picture quality video processing engine chips with integrated H.264 decoders is expected to grow significantly.

Fujitsu Microelectronics already offers a full HD multi-decoder chip, the MB86H60, supporting MPEG-2 and H.264, to the European markets. In view of the ramp-up towards digital TVs for HD broadcasts in Europe, Fujitsu Microelectronics will offer this new ASSP that integrates as a SoC Fujitsu’s proprietary superior picture quality video processing engine that was co-developed with Fujitsu Laboratories, with Fujitsu Microelectronics’ already available full HD multi-decoder.

With digital TV, differing from analog TV, picture quality can be improved depending on the video processing engine. Up until now, Fujitsu Microelectronics has been providing to TV set makers its expertise through custom ASIC(*5) chip products. With this new digital HDTV SoC, Fujitsu Microelectronics’ offerings for TV set makers expand to ASSPs, to improve the cost competitiveness of its customers.

Leveraging Fujitsu’s highly regarded expertise in image processing-related technologies and products, Fujitsu Microelectronics has positioned its image processing ASSPs as a pillar for strategic growth for its ASSP business, providing world-class ASSPs for imaging, such as “MilbeautTM“ LSIs for digital still cameras, as well as transcoder LSIs that convert MPEG-2 to H.264. Along with expanding its line-up of ASSPs for imaging through the new MB86H70, building on its video processing engine business, Fujitsu Microelectronics will continue to strengthen its product offerings for the TV market.

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