Cavium Networks Introduces New Family of PureVu™ Single Chip H.264 Processors

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

The PureVu™ CNW5XXX Video Processor Family Integrates Cavium’s Industry Leading Super Low Latency (SLL) 1080p60 Video Compression Capability with Its World Class CPU, Networking, and Security Technologies to Address a Wide

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Cavium Networks (NASDAQ: CAVM), a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, communications, and connected home applications, today announced a new family of full HD (1080p60) system-on-a-chip (SoC) H.264 video processors for consumer and enterprise applications. The PureVu™ CNW5XXX family combines Cavium’s Super-Low-Latency (SLL) H.264 video processor, high performance Nitrox security technology, and intelligent networking and packet processing capabilities in a fully integrated SoC that brings the company’s revolutionary netHD™ technology to a variety of video applications, including wireless display, HDMI cable replacement, home media distribution, and video conferencing. The high degree of integration deployed in the CNW5XXX family is intended to provide OEMs with aggressive system bill-of-materials (BOM) cost in order to enable mass market adoption in such devices as flat panel TVs, Blu-ray players, notebook PCs and netbooks, gaming consoles, as well as SMB and SOHO video communication systems.

The consumer desire for instant access to high definition content, whether streamed from the internet or stored on different CE devices including Blu-ray players, smart phones, STB DVRs, and PCs, for viewing anywhere in the home on various displays such as HDTVs and PC/laptop monitors is driving the demand for wired and wireless home video distribution and interactive content delivery. Leveraging the wide breadth of its technology, Cavium has created an architecture that exceeds the most stringent interactivity and quality requirements through its SLL 1080p60 H.264 technology, while complying with industry standards for managing protected content, such as HDCP 2.0, using its high performance and flexible security processors.

“The market adoption of our PureVu™ video co-processors has been phenomenal since we introduced the CNW3XXX family in early 2008,” said Lars Herlitz, GM of the Multimedia Group at Cavium. “We expect the high integration, low power consumption and aggressive BOM cost structure of the newly introduced CNW5XXX video processor family to help our customers drive significant growth in wireless display, home video distribution, and video conferencing market segments.”

PureVu™ CNW5XXX SoC Family Key Features

  • High Performance Processing
    • PureVu™ H.264 codec engine with up to 1920x1080p60 (1920x1200p60 for PC applications) encoding or decoding performance and integrated Super Low Latency (SLL) technology enabling 1ms encoding and 1ms decoding capability. The encoder and decoder engines are equipped with advanced error resiliency techniques to eliminate artifacts due to transmission errors. The codec engine and the pre- and post-processing modules have been optimized for handling not only movie content, but also text and graphics content to ensure best user experience for a wide range of home and office applications.
    • Dual ARM11 MPCore™ processors operating at up to 500MHz, each with 32KB I-cache, 32KB D-cache and a large 128KB L2 cache. Each ARM11 MPCore™ processor comes with instruction set extensions for Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Media Processing, and integrates a Vector Floating Point unit (VFP) and Memory Management Unit (MMU). DSP extensions on the ARM11 MPCore™ processors drive enhanced voice and audio applications including support for wideband speech and high fidelity audio codecs. The ARM11 subsystem has already been deployed in Cavium’s ECONA line for connected home applications.
    • CNW5XXX’s high performance processing engines are complemented with a set of hardware accelerators including Cavium’s widely deployed Nitrox hardware crypto engine with public key processing and bulk data encryption and decryption blocks for content protection such as HDCP 2.0 support, as well as a 2D graphics engine for enhanced graphical user interface functionality for menus and graphics overlays.
  • High Bandwidth, Integrated Memory, Media, System, and Networking Interfaces
    • Interfaces include single-lane PCI-express controller and PHY, USB 2.0 host and device controller and PHY, Gigabit Ethernet MAC, and a host of other common peripheral interfaces including GPIO, SPI, UART, I2S, and I2C. The video ports support bi-directional 24-bit RGB/4:4:4 or 8/16-bit YUV/4:2:2 ITU-R BT.1120/656 connectivity to directly interface with commonly available HDMI transceivers, as well as component and composite inputs and outputs.
  • Quality of Service and Reliability
    • CNW5XXX’s integrated Quality of Service (QoS) mechanism, called SMART (Secure Minimum-latency Adaptation and Reliable Transmission), employs intelligent rate adaptation and error resiliency techniques that enable smooth and reliable content delivery over a wide range of standards-based wired and wireless networks, such as WiFi 802.11n, Powerline, and MoCA. The built-in QoS module monitors key transmission channel statistics and optimizes the behavior of the PureVu™ codec engine for best user experience. This QoS functionality is one of CNW5XXX’s key differentiating technologies that enable reliable, secure and long-range transmission of high quality, 1080p60 content.

High Definition Video Delivery without Compromise

Distribution of high definition content over standard WiFi home networks is the holy grail of the digital home. To date, proprietary compression or wireless technologies have failed to capture the interest of most consumers, mainly due to limitations inherent in the underlying technology, such as line-of-sight requirements, inability to scale due to lack of standardization and compatibility, and the high cost associated with building an end-to-end system. In addition, software-based solutions using commonly available general purpose CPUs suffer from limited resolution, high latency and unacceptably high power consumption. Cavium’s new SoC family overcomes these barriers by offering a range of application-optimized, fully standards-based devices that enable OEMs to address the requirements of this market in a cost effective and scalable manner:

  • CNW5602: This dual-port, encode/decode SoC is ideal for external stand-alone transmitter and receiver dongle designs for enabling existing CE home devices with WiFi display technology.
  • CNW5621: This single-port, encode-only variant, operates in a co-processor mode and has the size and the power characteristics suitable for integration into notebook PCs and netbooks.
  • CNW5611: The display side is addressed using a single-port, decode-only SoC that can seamlessly integrate into an existing TV design and handle both video and data traffic slated for the main TV processor.

“The wireless display and HDMI cable replacement applications have become the next digital home battle ground for various video processing and wireless networking technologies,” said Michelle Abraham, principal analyst at In-Stat. “But when the dust settles, given the compatibility and scalability required to support this emerging market’s expected growth, solutions using standards-based video and networking technologies will have the best chance of succeeding. Cavium’s strategy with their new SoC family positions them well to be a driving force in shaping this growth.”

Enterprise Quality Video Conferencing at Consumer Grade Pricing

Cavium’s new SoC product family also targets the video conferencing application with the new CNW5102:

  • CNW5102: This dual-port device offers full-duplex H.264 encode-decode capability (up to 1080p30 in full-duplex mode), integrated audio and speech processing, advanced user interface capabilities through the on-board 2D graphics accelerator, and a rich set of networking and peripheral interfaces including USB, Gigabit Ethernet, and PCI-express.

This new SoC offers an ideal solution for low to mid-range video communication devices that are more cost-sensitive, yet demand the same level of video processing quality and performance as their higher end counter parts. The highly integrated architecture enables a single-chip video conferencing design capable of providing consumer grade pricing any compromise in picture quality. CNW5102’s high performance, flexible architecture, and rich interface set make it suitable for addressing a variety of other embedded applications including low latency broadcast, medical imaging and surveillance applications.

Availability and Pricing

The CNW5XXX will be sampling in Q1 2010. Various members of this processor family will be offered with different packaging options, speed grades and price points. Please contact your Cavium sales representative for details.