Renesas began supplying the new reference board to partner companies and plans to submit business proposals to those companies offering content distribution services and manufacturers of consumer products.
With the adoption of worldwide digital TV broadcasting in recent years, Internet-based video distribution and web services are expected to grow in popularity. At the same time, the number of devices capable of connecting to the cloud to enable consumption of internet-based video and content distribution services is increasing. Multi-room distribution and multi-screen setups within the home are also gaining in popularity, as they allow users to consume broadcast and video content more comfortably and conveniently. This trend is also generating demand for increased interoperability between TV sets and mobile devices such as tablets.
The new reference board supports Full-HD quality 1920 × 1080/30 progressive (1080/30p) content and provides several features that allow the reference board to achieve an 88-percent reduction in size, a 170-percent boost in performance, and a 25-percent decrease in power consumption in comparison with previous reference boards.
The reference board measures only 6.5 centimeters (cm) x 2.1 cm x 1.1 cm, combining portability and flexibility. It supports two kinds of audio and video (AV) output: MHL (mobile high-definition link) and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface). The MHL version can be plugged directly into the MHL interface of a TV or other device, making it even more convenient to enjoy video content.
A high-resolution SoC is mounted on the reference board, enabling high-performance processing with low power consumption. The SoC is built around the dual core ARM Cortex-A9 with the NEON media extension. It also incorporates an on-chip AV engine capable of decoding HD content, which allows playback of full-HD quality of 1920 × 1080 pixels/30 progressive (1080/30p) in multiple formats such as H.264, MPEG4, and VC-1. In addition, low-power technology delivers high-performance processing and high power efficiency. The 2-D/3-D graphics engine makes it possible to implement a user interface with advanced functionality. The SoC also delivers sophisticated content protection and security functions.
The reference board supports Wi-Fi, making it easy for users to connect devices such as tablets that have wireless networking capabilities. As a result the reference board will be able to contribute to the implementation and expansion of various network systems including the cloud, multi-room, multi-screen, internet video distribution, and web services.