HDTV will come to mobile handsets earlier than expected, according to Texas Instruments which has launched the OMAP3 processor to handle it.
TI has produced a development platform that includes a 12Mpixel CMOS image sensor, encoding the image to the 720p HDTV format using the AVC high profile standard for products in 2008. This gives you a top notch camcorder said Rick Wietfeldt, chief technical officer of the handset division at TI. The screen on the handset is not the only screen. If you capture in high definition then what do you do with it? You can preview on the small screen but view it on something else.”
It is planning a version that will do the full 1080i HDTVbut "there hasn't been a requirement for it he said. 1080p is the challenge now he said.
The 65nm OMAP3430 processor also offers the first DVD-quality camcorder capability in a phone - a 4X improvement from the OMAP2430 processor - enabled by IVATM 2+, a second-generation, power-optimised version of the imaging, video and audio accelerator used in TI's DaVinci technology.
The OMAP3430 processor will support all known mobile DTV decode standards worldwide,and will also include S-video output support for higher quality video display on an external TV monitor or projector.
Freescale is also planning an HDTV chip for mobiles. Our mxc processor is HD capable and we are shipping to lead customers with the baseband part said Denis Griot, general manager of Freescale in Europe.
But companies like Israeli IP developer Ceva see the market as further out. It is developing a core that can handle 1080p HDTV decode with standard definition encoding on its Ceva-X digital signal processing platform, all in software, for its MM3000.
This is in design at the moment for launch to chip customers to use in the first quarter of 2008. What we are hearing is HD for mobile will be in the market for 2011 said Gideon Wertheizer, chief executive of Ceva. It already has 12 customers using its IP for baseband phones including Infineon and several Chinese chip makers.