Industry's Lowest-Power Full HD H.264 Codecs With the Broadest Feature Set Unveiled by Qpixel

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

QL300 Family Delivers Unmatched Video Compression and Image Processing Capabilities Across a Wide Range of Portable Applications and Devices

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Qpixel Technology, a Silicon Valley, USA-based innovator in video compression silicon and software solutions, today unveiled at Computex, its High Definition (HD) QL303 and QL305 codecs, the latest members of its industry-leading, low-power, H.264 codec family. The new chips provide the industry’s broadest H.264 feature-set by supporting Baseline, Main, and High profiles of the H.264 standard for resolutions ranging from QVGA (320×240) to full HD (1920×1080). Qpixel is also raising the power-performance bar by being the first to offer full HD H.264 encoding at less than 275 mW of power, confirming Qpixel’s leadership in innovative codec design and its commitment to Green Technology initiatives for lowering energy consumption in consumer electronic devices.

“Consumer adoption of HDTV is rapidly increasing,” said Michelle Abraham, principal analyst with the industry market research firm In-Stat. “As the resolution of TV screens grows, so does consumers’ appetite for HD content. This increases consumer interest in TVs with high definition recording and encoding functionality. It also drives the adoption for high definition encoding on such portable devices as multimedia phones, camcorders and laptop computers. Qpixel’s flexible and rich H.264 encoding toolset and low power requirements positions them well to serve the bourgeoning HD market.”

The unique combination of flexibility and high performance provided by the QL300 family stems from Qpixel’s market proven multi-core architecture. In addition to its powerful H.264 codec engine, Qpixel’s HD codec family features an on-chip DSP for flexible audio processing, a JPEG compression/decompression engine for simultaneous still frame processing, and an ARM® core for audio/video synchronization, bit stream packetization, and peripheral interface management.

The QL303’s set of flexible peripheral interfaces make the part suitable for a wide range of portable devices, including digital cameras, camcorders, and smart phones. The advanced power management and the modular design of the chip enables power sensitive smart phone devices to capture and encode HD video for as low as 100mW of power (1280×720 at 15fps). Digital home applications can also benefit from the versatility of the QL303, including consumer video chat, in-home media distribution, and remote monitoring. Similar to its predecessor (QL201B), the QL303 offers a flexible parallel interface allowing the chip to seamlessly connect to a variety of system controllers, thereby enabling an easy upgrade path for systems with less advanced or lower resolution compression engines.

The QL305 offers the same rich set of audio and video compression and image processing capabilities as the QL303; however, the inclusion of additional peripheral interfaces makes the chip ideal for personal communication and computing platforms including desktop PCs, laptops, mobile internet devices (MID), and Webcams. The combination of its advanced power management, compatibility with popular image sensors, and the small foot-print, allows the QL305 to be integrated onto standard sensor modules used in next generation consumer portable devices, bringing a richer user experience for sharing User Generated Content (UGC) and video chat applications. In addition, the inclusion of popular high-speed serial interfaces allows the chip to seamlessly integrate onto a PC motherboard and offer a multi-purpose video and audio hardware accelerator for enhanced media processing in high definition video communication and transcoding applications.

“When it comes to advanced codecs and high definition video processing, the end application and the user experience are the real drivers,” said Kourosh Amiri, vice president of marketing at Qpixel Technology. “The MIPS and the mega-pixels only tell a part of the story. The real challenge is to figure out how to provide consumers with the best video communication and media sharing experience given the existing power consumption, cost and throughput constraints. These are the issues Qpixel’s H.264 HD technology addresses.”

More about the QL303 and QL305

Each chip is a real-time H.264/MPEG4-AVC High Definition (level 4.1) Encoder/Decoder (Codec) that provides the ideal mix of flexibility and power efficiency for consumer electronics applications. Designed to be employed as companion chips, the QL303 and QL305 provide the perfect combination of performance and flexibility to enable easy upgrade of existing designs to support high-definition compression in H.264. The ability to support all three profiles of the H.264 standard (Baseline, Main, and High) enables users to trade off latency (less than one frame) with compression efficiency depending on the requirements of the target application. The low latency and full-duplex capabilities of the chips enable efficient and reliable video communication. In addition to their rich peripheral interface set, both chips are offered in 11×11 packages and support Mobile DDR memory, to address applications sensitive to foot-print and power consumption.

The QL303 and QL305 will be available in July, 2008. The 10K quantity pricing will be $20 and $24 for QL303 and QL305, respectively.