Fujitsu launches ultra-low power full HD H.264 CODECs

Thursday, October 30th, 2008
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Includes 60 frames-per-second ’60p’ processing for superior picture quality

LANGEN, Germany — Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) today expanded its line-up of H.264 CODECs with two new devices that encode and decode full high-definition (HD) (1920 dots x 1080 lines) video in H.264 format. The first of the two products to be launched, the ultra-low power MB86H55, features power consumption of only 500mW during full HD encoding including the built-in memory, an industry-leading level for low power consumption. In addition, the upcoming MB86H56 will offer processing of full HD video at 60 frames-per-second (progressive) ’60p’, to improve picture quality even further.

The two new products have built-in memory to offer a small package size of 15mm x 15mm, making it ideal to record, play and transmit superior picture quality HD video on portable devices such as digital camcorders, as well as on home networked appliances, commercial broadcast equipment, and security cameras.

For digital camcorders, the H.264 compression format has become mainstream, providing longer recording times than the previous MPEG-2 compression format. At the same time, longer battery life is essential to increase the length of time it is possible to continuously record or play on one battery charge. However, with the ever-shrinking size of digital camcorders, large batteries cannot be used, making low power consumption of the internal components a key requirement.

Fujitsu has provided its MB86H51 full HD H.264 CODEC featuring built-in memory, since 2007. The new low power MB86H55 has a power consumption of only 500mW during full HD encoding, including the built-in memory power consumption. This allows an extension in the length of time it is possible to continuously record and play HD video on digital camcorders and other portable devices while maintaining superior picture quality.

The other new CODEC, MB86H56, extends the reputation for high picture quality of the existing MB86H51, by further increasing the picture quality with processing at 60 frames per second (progressive).

These two new products, together with the existing MB86H51 CODEC, use Fujitsu Laboratories’ proprietary picture quality algorithm to realise superior picture quality and a reduced video processing burden enabled by high-compression technology. Leveraging Fujitsu’s highly regarded expertise in image processing-related technologies and products, the company will continue to strengthen its imaging and video processing ASSPs.

Key features

  1. Small form-factor, low power consumption

    Both new products contain one 512Mb built-in memory (Fast Cycle RAM – FCRAM). Due to the reduction in the number of memory chips, as well as the use of 65nm process technology, the power consumption during full HD encoding, including the in-package memory, is reduced to 500mW (at 30 frames per second). Also, it is provided in a small form-factor 15mm x 15mm package.

  2. Processing at 60 frames-per-second (progressive) further improves picture quality (MB86H56)

    The existing CODEC product, MB86H51, processes video at 30 frames-per-second. The new MB86H56 doubles this to 60 frames-per-second (progressive), ’60p’, to boost picture quality.

  3. Embedded scaler for picture zoom and down-scaling

    Both products have an embedded scaler for zooming or down-scaling the picture. In units of 16-bit x 32 lines, pictures can be zoomed by a maximum of six times or down-scaled to 1/6, enabling flexible accommodation of the requirements for picture quality, resolution, and bit-rate depending on the application.

  4. Improved connectivity to peripheral devices

    Both products contain many interfaces for improved connectivity. For the host interface to connect to an external CPU there is a 16-bit parallel interface and a TS interface as the video stream interface. In addition, there is a serial interface in which a reduction of pins for the host interface is possible, as well as a PCI interface for connecting a PC or a recorder. Connection to external ROM is also possible, thus realising high-speed boot for devices that feature these CODECs.

Process Technology, Memory, Package, Power Consumption, Operating Frequency, Input Clock, Peripheral I/O, Host Interface, Audio, Video, System


Sample shipments of the MB86H55 will start in January 2009. Samples shipments of the MB86H56 will start from April 2009. Production quantities are estimated at around 200,000 per month for each device.