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Friday, December 15, 2006

Tensilica Introduces Four Video Processor Engines Including Main Profile H.264 Support

Tensilica introduced four new Diamond Standard VDO (ViDeO) processor engines customized for multi-standard, multi-resolution video. Targeted at mobile handsets and personal media players (PMPs), these video subsystems are fully programmable to support all popular VGA and standard definition (SD, also known as D1) video codecs with resolutions up to 720x480 (NTSC) and 720x576 (PAL) including H.264 Main Profile, VC-1 Main Profile, MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP), and MPEG-2 Main Profile, each of which is available from Tensilica. Lower resolutions such as QCIF, QVGA, CIF and VGA are also supported.

The Diamond Standard VDO engines host all the key video processing functions in software on the cores – including the network abstraction layer, picture layer, slice layer, bit-stream parsing and entropy decoding and encoding. This includes the computationally demanding CABAC (Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding) decoding in the H.264 Main profile decoder that most other solutions omit, implement in a separate and complex non-programmable hardware block or necessitate more than 700 MHz of general CPU workload which significantly increases power consumption. By implementing CABAC in instruction set extensions, Tensilica was able to create a low MHz and power efficient version of CABAC in less than half the area of a typical CABAC hardware block.

The Diamond VDO family offers both Baseline and Main profile solutions – Main profile offers superior data compression and video quality and is the preferred coding scheme at resolutions of D1 and higher for advanced handset and PMP applications. Most other video solutions for SOC design only implement Baseline profile video.

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