1080p on my phone – why not?

mobilehd11TechOn! is reporting (though Renesas made the announcement on April 29, 2009) that the SH-MobileHD1 is now shipping!  So why is this cool regardless of when it was reported?  Renesas, the company behind the tech, is first to the market with a mobile chip that is capable of delivering 1080p video with Dolby Digital codec support in a chip design for mobile tech, aka cell phones.  The spec sheet is staggering!

(1)     Full HD video processing on a single chip

It supports the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC*1 video compression standard (H.264) at Full HD video resolution with a playback/recording frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps).

  • Maximum operating frequency of 500 MHz, approximately twice as fast as comparable earlier Renesas Technology products
  • Video processing unit (VPU) delivering 1080p video encoding and decoding requiring very few CPU MIPS
  • Video input interface for camera module conforming to Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) CSI-2 standard
  • Enhanced higher bandwidth internal bus architecture

(2)     Dedicated audio DSPs for reduced power consumption

The SH-MobileHD1 incorporates two 24-bit dedicated audio DSPs to lighten the audio processing load on the CPU and reduce power consumption. This enables one DSP to handle (stereo) audio processing such as the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) high-quality audio compression standard and Dolby Digital codec, while the other DSP handles sonic enhancement such as equalization and sample rate conversion (SRC). In addition, heavy-load processing tasks such as 5.1-channel audio can be assigned to the dual DSPs. Support for Dolby Digital and 5.1-channel audio allow interoperation with applications designed for consumer audio components.

(3)     Improved interoperation with digital home electronics and networks

The SH-MobileHD1 includes an interface that supports connection to a transmitter microchip that implements the HDMI high-speed multimedia interface used for interconnections between AV components. This allows connection and output of Full HD resolution video to digital home electronics components such as LCD TVs or Blu-ray Disc recorders. In addition, the SH-MobileHD1 can connect to an SD memory card and wireless LAN (WLAN) module, and it supports multiplexing*2 of the MPEG2-TS (transport system) and MP4*3 formats. Since MPEG2-TS is rapidly gaining popularity as a multiplexing format for HD and Full HD video in the digital home electronics field, support by the SH-MobileHD1 enables easy sharing of content between digital home electronics products and mobile phones. High resolution camera data or host-based content can be shared easily over a network such as a WLAN. This helps increase the usability of video applications.

(4)     Small package

The SH-MobileHD1 supports Full HD video, but uses a compact 407-pin BGA package measuring 10 mm × 11 mm. The application processor and 512 megabits of synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) are integrated into a single package as a system-in-package (SiP) device for greater system compactness.

So who would want to what 1080p video with surround sound on a small iphone screen with mono sound?  Let’s combine this innovation with other mobile tech announced and delivered.  Combine this chipset with mobile projector tech:

and stream content from the emerging 4g networks, we will soon be able to enjoy Netflix/Hulu/Amazon from any physical location.  Add support for cloud rendering, and you will potentially have one killer gaming device!


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