Renesas Enhances Its SH-Mobile Application Processor Series

Renesas Technology America has announced two new application processors in the SH-Mobile series, expanding the number of devices with the very low power multimedia capability. The SH-MobileL3V2 offers additional video formats, high-resolution video capture and enhanced functionality to control image quality. These processors will accelerate the proliferation of advanced multimedia capture and playback on mobile phones and portable media players, enabling both advanced systems that offer higher image quality, as well as lower-priced systems that offer TV and other multimedia features.

The devices are the newest functionally enhanced versions of Renesas Technology's SH-Mobile series of multimedia processors. They both incorporate a high-performance, low-power video processing unit that supports the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (referred to below as H.264) and VC-1 moving-image compression standard commonly used for multimedia content delivery from broadcasters and Web-based content services. This dedicated hardware engine efficiently achieves 30 fps (frame per second) encoding and decoding performance at VGA definition while consuming very low power. The SH-MobileL3V2 and SH-MobileUL are excellent choices for applications such as video mail, video phones, and video clips that require flawless consumer quality audio and video processing. In addition, these application processors can support mobile digital broadcasting systems, including DVB-H, ISDB-T, and DMB.

Both devices have a low power SH4AL-DSP CPU core that achieves high processing performance: 478 MIPS (million instructions per second) at a maximum operating frequency of 266MHz. Thus, they can provide excellent viewing experiences.

Features specific to the SH-MobileL3V2 application processor include a gamma-correction function and an advanced image processing function to improve the quality of images in mobile video applications. The gamma-correction function has three kinds of correction histogram-extension type, screen-brightness correspondence type, and adaptive-type chroma correction. Image quality can be adjusted for individual TV scenes, enabling clear, high-quality video displays on a variety of display types and characteristics. Unique edge-enhancement technology implemented in the SH-MobileL3V2 prevents fuzziness when a QVGA-size image is enlarged to VGA, WVGA or larger size.

The SH-MobileL3V2 application processor also has a hardware, dedicated 24-bit audio DSP function that readily handles music coded using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), MP3, or a similar compression system. The on-chip DSP reduces power consumption while offering more audio and speech processing options. For example, it enables multi-channel calling, wide-bandwidth speech codecs, and echo-cancellation capabilities, making the SH-MobileL3V2 ideal for voice-over-IP applications.

A camera interface built into the application processor allows direct connection of an external 5-megapixel-class camera module. Large volumes of image data can be captured from a high-definition camera at high speed. The camera module can also implement various kinds of displays such as electronic image scaling, multi-source blending, and picture-in-picture, by means of low-power hardware image-processing modules. Color-conversion circuitry handles the BT.709 YUV data used in ISDB-T mobile Digital TV broadcasting.

Among the SH-MobileL3V2's other on-chip peripheral functions are an LCD controller that supports 24-bit TFT color liquid crystal panels, an SD memory card interface, a SIM card interface, and a sound interface.

Features specific to the SH-MobileUL application processor include an optimized set of peripheral functions specialized for multimedia playback, and a compact 8mm x 8mm package that reduces the circuit board mounting area by approximately 30% or more compared with the previous Renesas product SH-MobileL3V. These characteristics will help customers build new multimedia appliances and phone models that are smaller and cost less.

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