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Broadcom Develops 12MP, 720p, HDMI Phone Chip

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If you've just read about the TI mobile phone projector you may be thinking 'nice tech, but what will be capable of powering it?' The answer: this...
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Semiconductor giant Broadcom has today opened up a whole new world for handsets with the announcement of its BCM2727' VideoCore III based processor, a chip it claims is capable of taking up to 12 megapixel photographs, playing back HD video and powering advanced 3D mobile gaming.

However will it output all this? Through an HDMI 1.3 interface, of course! That's right, 'Deep Color' HDMI on your phone.

"VideoCore III raises the bar for mobile multimedia, and for the first time, enables a high definition mobile user experience," said Mark Casey, VP and GM of Broadcom's Mobile Multimedia line of business - and my new personal hero. "The BCM2727 delivers a 'triple-play' of technology combining HD camcorder with professional quality camera and next generation graphics, all at extremely low power."

Can all this be as good as it sounds? Well, breaking down the specs, it looks that way. For a start, the 12MP photography isn't just an outside figure, Broadcom claims the BMC2727 will process up to 144m pixels per second meaning it supports on-the-fly photography at up to 12 pictures per second at 12MP. Try that on your Cybershot....

Next, the gaming. The graphics pipeline is optimized for Open VG 1.0 and Open GL ES 1.1/2.0 operation and is capable of 32m triangles per second at peak performance. Over fifty multimedia standards, formats, codecs and resolutions are supported.

Finally the High Def: 720p HD video encoding and decoding with H.264 at low power levels (450 mW), ie: get ready not only to watch high definition videos on the go but also film videos in it directly from your handset. Broadcom even boasts the BCM2727 chip is so efficient that a handset using "a standard-sized cell phone battery" will provide enough power for five hours of HD playback and three hours of HD recording.

Amazingly, Broadcom says samples of the BCM2727 processor with VideoCore III technology are now shipping to priority customers. Quite what will come from handset manufacturers on the back of this is frightening, but slap me happy with a kipper if we aren't all dying to see what comes from it...

Update: Note handset design and development cycles rarely take less than 12 months, so think Q4 2008 at the earliest. Yup, you can afford one more handset upgrade first.

Link:
Press Release

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