Boosting mobile performance

15 February 2008

STMicroelectronics couples its multimedia application processor with an audio and power-management chip.

This platform enables smart phones and other portable devices to record and view HD video clips, receive mobile TV, playback days worth of hi-fi music and deliver a life-like 3D gaming experience.

A key element of the new chipset, STMicroelectronics’s Nomadik STn8820 application processor, combines distributed high-performance multi-core processing with ultra-low power consumption. The device integrates programmable smart accelerators for high-definition video, multi-channel audio, DSC-class (digital still camera) imaging and 2D/3D graphics, with a general-purpose ARM1176 core running at up to 532MHz.

Manufactured in ST’s 65nm low-power CMOS process, the STn8820 handles video at up to HD 720p resolution and plays all major standards, such as H.264 and VC-1. Furthermore, the embedded imaging engine produces high-quality still images of up eight-megapixels.

A Nomadik companion chip, the STw4820, integrates supply and power management for the application processor and device peripherals. The configurable and programmable chip features a 100dB audio codec sub-system, accessory detection capabilities and a touchscreen interface. An embedded high-speed USB-OTG (USB on the go) transceiver also offers fast data transfer and synchronisation. With its high level of integration, the STw4820 reduces component costs and board-area requirements with no compromise in functionality. Compared with solutions based on several chips and discrete components, ST’s new audio and power manager saves as much as 30 per cent of the bill of materials and 40 per cent of the device footprint.

In addition to smartphones, the Nomadik chipset can be used in mobile internet devices, mobile computers, portable multimedia and navigation devices, and in-car entertainment systems.

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