Cheaper 1080p TVs to come
We got some press information from the chip manufacturer Micronas about a new chip they are announcing, and that may seem like quite boring news but it’s in fact quite interesting news as it will radically decrease the production cost for full HD LCDs and Plasma screens. The single chip solution solves pretty much everything a manufacturer need to be able to produce a cheap high definition screen. I guess it will be hard to get hold of a 42″ screen with a lower resolution than 1920×1080 in a year or two (try to find a Plasma screen with the 852×480 resolution that was popular a couple of years ago…)
Press information from Micronas
Micronas Announces Single-Chip Solution for Full HD 1080p Flat-Panel TVs
The VCT-Premium(TM) supports worldwide trends towards Full HD 1080p TV and expandability to 120 Hz and new DTV broadcasting formats such as H.264
FREIBURG, Germany, Aug. 23 — Micronas (SWX Swiss Exchange: MASN), a leading supplier of innovative application- specific IC system solutions for consumer electronics, today announced VCT-Premium — the third generation of Micronas’ widely deployed VCT-family of single-chip flat-panel TV processors. Major OEMs all over the world have chosen the VCT-platform for their LCD and plasma TVs. Now, the TV market is moving to Full HD 1080p panels, and the VCT-Premium offers the industry’s highest level of integration, thus allowing TV-OEMs significant system cost reduction at state-of-the-art quality to address this important market segment.
The single-chip solution provides the complete electronics platform for a Full HD 1080p TV featuring integrated audio, video, Teletext, OSD, and controller-related functionalities, even memory and program ROM, and a dual input port HDMI receiver. The VCT-Premium has been engineered for maximum picture and sound quality. The chip offers state-of-the-art color processing: In addition to standard color space typically used for PAL or NTSC systems, it can accept content with the new extended color space (xvYCC) and expands the color formats to work with Wide Color Gamut panels. TV-set designers can custom-map colors to their display panel of choice, thus insuring the TV delivers the best possible color.
The VCT-Premium further improves picture quality by dealing with noise associated with digital TV. MPEG video coding can introduce ‘mosquito noise’ and ‘block noise’ to the video signal. The VCT-Premium eliminates this noise with advanced algorithms that reduce the digital noise effect while maintaining the picture sharpness.
“Micronas has extended its VCT platform to accommodate the worldwide trend towards -Full HD 1080p,” explains Thomas Hilpert, Product Marketing Manager TV, at Micronas. “And we made sure that the VCT-Premium is future-proof. The new H.264 format is a great market opportunity for TV-set makers, but not all markets are adopting it at the same rate. Our solution allows TV-set designers to add off-the-shelf MPEG2/H.264 decoder chips for the respective markets, without the expense of including it in all sets.”
With the adoption of Blu-ray and HD-DVD media, the industry took a big step forward — both formats can deliver movies exactly as filmed, at 24 frames per second (fps). The VCT-Premium supports this 24p mode — showing true cinematic video quality. And the system can even go one step further with its companion chip, the Micronas FRC 94xyM. The FRC94xyM, the fourth-generation truD(R) Full HD 120, smoothly increases the frame rate from 24 fps to as fast as 120 fps at Full HD resolution. It generates new intermediate frames so that on-screen motion is smooth and free of motion-blurring and film judder. TV manufacturers can offer a standard TV model with VCT-Premium and, by adding the FRC 94xyM, an advanced TV model, both based on one core system.
Movies aren’t even half the fun without great sound. Micronas has leveraged its expertise in audio processing to equip the VCT-Premium with an extensive portfolio of audio technologies that deliver best-in-class sound. As part of Micronas meloD(TM) audio processing technologies, the VCT-Premium features a parametric equalizer, which let system designers match sound output to the chosen speaker system. Micronas’ night listening mode, meloD(TM) NIGHT(R)+, reduces loud sections and enhances quiet passages to create a pleasant entertainment experience in sensitive listening environments.
Besides the QFP package with integrated DRAM, the VCT-Premium also comes in a BGA package allowing the connection to external DDR memory. Samples of the VCT-Premium, evaluation boards, development tools and a comprehensive software package are available now.