20 Megapixel Camera Phone Chip Rediculousness from Broadcom

broadcomBroadcom is producing a chip capable of handling a 20 megapixel camera phone, the BCM2763 VideoCore IV.  Why?  To provide their customers with the ability to one-up the 12 and 14 megapixel camera phone offerings, as if they don’t have enough pixels.   While the 20MP numbers are the “ceiling” of this signal processor’s capability, that doesn’t make the concept of a 20MP camera phone any less outrageous.  The chip does have some actually desirable characteristics though, such as 40nm CMOS technology, 1080P H.264 encoding, and minimal power usage.   Press release follows.

New Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV Processor Features 1080p Video, 20 Megapixel Photos and 1 Gigapixel Graphics in an Ultra-Low Power 40 Nanometer Design

IRVINE, Calif., Dec 15, 2009 — Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced its next generation multimedia processor that delivers industry leading performance and lower power in the top multimedia categories for mobile devices. Using 40 nanometer (40nm) CMOS process technology, the new Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV multimedia processor provides even higher integration, smaller footprint size and lower power consumption than 65nm designs.

With the higher integration and significant power savings from 40nm CMOS process technology, the BCM2763 multimedia processor features the most advanced mobile high definition (HD) camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing, and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering for a world-class gaming experience. HD video, 3D games and high resolution 20 megapixel pictures can be displayed at top quality on full-sized HD televisions and monitors using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface. Additionally, the BCM2763‘s highly integrated architecture reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost to help drive sophisticated multimedia features into more affordable handsets.

Highlights/Key Facts:

  • The breadth and quality of Internet multimedia content is rapidly
    improving, with sites such as YouTube now supporting full HD 1080p video
    sharing. Consumers are also increasingly using cell phones as their
    primary digital camera and camcorder, which is driving demand for higher
    resolution and more sophisticated image processing which is currently
    only available on advanced standalone camcorders and cameras.
    Additionally, newer graphics-oriented user interfaces and mobile games
    now require enhanced graphics capabilities.
  • The new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor enables best-in-class performance in the following areas:
    • Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with
      significantly improved quality over current generation handsets
      (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders).
    • Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as
      multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile
      detection and panorama mode.
    • The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p
      resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output,
      allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
  • In addition to providing these capabilities on new handsets, the BCM2763

    has improved power savings using a 40nm process without draining the
    battery or significantly reducing talk time. Additional ultra-low power
    consumption features include:

    • 20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation
      Videocore III multimedia processor.
    • 4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile
      playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given
      sufficient handset storage.
    • Only 490 mW of chip power is required for 1080p camcorder H.264 High
      Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback.
    • Only 160 mW of power is required for mobile game graphics
      processing, supporting up to 1 gigapixel per second fill rates and
      improves graphics performance by a factor of 4x to 6x in comparison
      to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
  • The BCM2763 processor integrates the key functionality and components
    needed to drive advanced multimedia capabilities in new handsets. As a
    result of this high integration, the BCM2763 enables a lower overall BOM
    cost, enabling manufacturers to pass these lower costs on and introduce
    advanced features to lower tier phones than previously possible.
    • The BCM2763 integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU
      and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory,
      video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0. 128MB of LPDDR2
      graphics memory is stacked in a single package.
    • The 40nm process enables reduced power, improved performance and
      reduced handset board space.
  • Benefiting from an existing VideoCore software code base and legacy
    architecture, manufacturers of phones and other consumer electronics
    devices can easily add these new VideoCore IV multimedia features to
    their products, allowing faster time-to-market.
  • The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers (pricing
    available upon request). Handsets utilizing this new 40nm VideoCore IV
    multimedia processor technology are expected to reach the market in
    2011.

Supporting Quotes:

Mark Casey, Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom’s Mobile Multimedia line of business.

VideoCore IV is setting new benchmarks for performance, power consumption and affordability and is poised to drive advanced multimedia capabilities into new tiers of handsets. Supported by our comprehensive line of complementary cellular and connectivity solutions, our multimedia processor technology is the right choice for next generation mobile designs.”

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About Broadcom

Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.

Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2008 revenue of $4.66 billion, and holds over 3,650 U.S. and over 1,450 foreign patents, more than 7,750 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.

A FORTUNE 500® company, Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at www.broadcom.com.

Cautions regarding Forward Looking Statements:

All statements included or incorporated by reference in this release, other than statements or characterizations of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry and business, management’s beliefs, and certain assumptions made by us, all of which are subject to change. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing,” similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the timing that handsets utilizing the Broadcom
BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor are expected to reach the market, and the effect of the VideoCore IV on advanced multimedia capabilities in new handset devices.. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

Important factors that may cause such a difference for Broadcom in connection with the BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor, but are not limited to:

  • the rate at which our present and future customers and end-users adopt
    Broadcom’s mobile multimedia technologies for mobile applications;
  • trends in the multimedia processor markets in various geographic
    regions, including seasonality in sales of consumer products into which
    our products are incorporated;
  • the gain or loss of a key customer, design win or order;
  • the volume of our product sales and pricing concessions on volume sales;
  • our ability to timely and accurately predict market requirements and
    evolving industry standards and to identify opportunities in new
    markets; and
  • competitive pressures and other factors such as the qualification,
    availability and pricing of competing products and technologies and the
    resulting effects on sales and pricing of our products.

Additional factors that may cause Broadcom’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the list that can be found at http://www.broadcom.com/press/additional_risk_factors/Q42009.php.

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings discuss the foregoing risks as well as other important risk factors that could contribute to such differences or otherwise affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The forward-looking statements in this release speak only as of this date. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement, except as required by law.

Broadcom, the pulse logo, Connecting everything, the Connecting everything logo and VideoCore® are among the trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States, certain other countries and/or the EU. Any other trademarks or trade names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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