Broadcom unveils low-power mobile processor featuring 1080p, 20MP photos and 1 Gigapixel graphics

Broadcom today announced its next generation multimedia processor that delivers industry leading performance and lower power in the top multimedia categories for mobile devices. Using 40 nanometer (40nm) CMOS process technology, the new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor provides even higher integration, smaller footprint size and lower power consumption than 65nm designs.

With the higher integration and significant power savings from 40nm CMOS process technology, the BCM2763 multimedia processor features the most advanced mobile high definition (HD) camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing, and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering for a world-class gaming experience. HD video, 3D games and high resolution 20 megapixel pictures can be displayed at top quality on full-sized HD televisions and monitors using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface. Additionally, the BCM2763’s highly integrated architecture reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost to help drive sophisticated multimedia features into more affordable handsets.

Highlights/Key Facts:

• The breadth and quality of Internet multimedia content is rapidly improving, with sites such as YouTube now supporting full HD 1080p video sharing. Consumers are also increasingly using cell phones as their primary digital camera and camcorder, which is driving demand for higher resolution and more sophisticated image processing which is currently only available on advanced standalone camcorders and cameras. Additionally, newer graphics-oriented user interfaces and mobile games now require enhanced graphics capabilities.

• The new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor enables best-in-class performance in the following areas:

• Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders).

• Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode.

• The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.

• In addition to providing these capabilities on new handsets, the BCM2763 has improved power savings using a 40nm process without draining the battery or significantly reducing talk time. Additional ultra-low power consumption features include:

• 20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.

• 4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage.

• Only 490 mW of chip power is required for 1080p camcorder H.264 High Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback.

• Only 160 mW of power is required for mobile game graphics processing, supporting up to 1 gigapixel per second fill rates and improves graphics performance by a factor of 4x to 6x in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.

• The BCM2763 processor integrates the key functionality and components needed to drive advanced multimedia capabilities in new handsets. As a result of this high integration, the BCM2763 enables a lower overall BOM cost, enabling manufacturers to pass these lower costs on and introduce advanced features to lower tier phones than previously possible.

• The BCM2763 integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory, video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0. 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics memory is stacked in a single package.

• The 40nm process enables reduced power, improved performance and reduced handset board space.

• Benefiting from an existing VideoCore software code base and legacy architecture, manufacturers of phones and other consumer electronics devices can easily add these new VideoCore IV multimedia features to their products, allowing faster time-to-market.

• The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers (pricing available upon request). Handsets utilizing this new 40nm VideoCore IV multimedia processor technology are expected to reach the market in 2011.

In the press release, Mark Casey, Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom’s Mobile Multimedia line of business, states, “VideoCore IV is setting new benchmarks for performance, power consumption and affordability and is poised to drive advanced multimedia capabilities into new tiers of handsets. Supported by our comprehensive line of complementary cellular and connectivity solutions, our multimedia processor technology is the right choice for next generation mobile designs.”

Source: Broadcom

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” and “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

23 Comments

  1. It’s a good thing storage is getting cheaper by the day, because 20 MP photos will fill even a large hard drive pretty damn quick.

    For now, I’m content with my 12.3 MP Nikon D300s. Hell, it won’t be long before you’ll be able to see individual skin cells when you zoom in.

  2. The optics in a cell phone — even in the next generation cell phone — won’t really support a 20 mp focal plane array. The aperture is too small and the optics certainly use only spherical sections (which are much less expensive to make) and no aspheric lenses (often the most expensive part of mid to high end lenses).

    While 99.99% of the time I’m a very strong proponent of higher density focal plane arrays (more optical information is almost always a good thing) putting a 20 mp focal plane array in a cell phone just does not make sense.

    Could a cell phone have optics that could properly support a 20 mp focal plane array? Possibly. The physics does not forbid it. However, the optics will have to be very, very well designed and the tolerances on the build will have to be exceedingly tight. I don’t expect an affordable cell phone camera having that class of optics in the next 5+ years.

    Think of it this way, 20+ mp cameras from the leading manufacturers of digital SLRs charge $400 to $20,000 just for the lenses that can take advantage of these high density focal planes. While the digital parts of high end cameras have evolved rapidly over the last decade (including the electronic vibration reduction), the optical parts (including optical vibration reduction) has not evolved at even one tenth that pace. I don’t expect the pace of camera optics to significantly change over the next 5+ years.

  3. 20MP photos taken with a cheap plastic lens would be a bad joke. You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. If anyone is fool enough to make such a device, they should be prosecuted for abuse of technology.

  4. To quote Steve Martin, “So I got the Dodecaphonic stereo. It still sounds like shit. Maybe it’s the needle?”

    As long as the lens is 1/4 inch in size, stamped out junk, I don’t care if the sensor is a 40 megapixel. The pictures will still be junk.

  5. As above, the most important part of a camera, still or movie, is the lens. It doesn’t matter a damn about megapixels, software or any other bells or whistles, a crapy lens produces crappy results.

    Will a cell phone ever have a good lens?

    Since 90% of dedicated cameras manufactured today don’t have good lenses, I’d say a phone ever having a good lens is highly unlikely. Physics alone will not let it happen.

  6. Put it this way.
    I have an Olympus C3040 camera from 2001 that is a 3.3 megapixel.

    A 5 megapixel and 10 megapixel consumer cameras the last two years that I have compared it to, look worse.

    The old Olympus has a very good lens, F1.8, 10 elements. I can print 12 x 14 inch prints that everyone thinks are Kodak prints from a lab.

  7. Exactly right, as above posters note. Bad lens = bad result. Doesn’t matter if the camera body is a Nikon D3s or a Hasselblad mid-format… attach a crappy lens and you’ll get a crappy result.

    Physics and the form factor will not allow good optics in phones.

    Not yet.

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