It seems that Intel isn't the only semiconductor company making the push to a 45nm production process, since today Panasonic announced a new LSI (Large Scale Integration) chip manufactured using a 45nm process.
Today at the CEATEC show in Tokyo, Panasonic announced its new 45nm UniPhier (Universal Platform for High-quality Image Enhancing Revoltion - yeah, I know!) chip, which brings with it the next level of digital data compression for consumer electronics devices.
With the ever increasing amount of high definition content, consumers need to be able to record efficiently, without degrading quality. The new UniPhier chip will be able to encode both VC-1 and AVC-HD on the fly, despite the latter being a particularly process intensive codec.
For a company like Panasonic, the benefits of the new UniPhier LSI are obvious, and the company was also quick to announce products incorporating the new hardware - I'll talk about those in more detail in another article though. Needless to say, being able to compress data more efficiently is good news for consumers.
A 45nm wafer stuffed full of UniPhier chips.
Of course a reduction in manufacturing process brings with it some intrinsic advantages for Panasonic. First up, smaller chips mean more chips per wafer and better yield - the upshot being a reduction in manufacturing cost.
Second, the UniPhier chip, as its name suggests, unifies several chips into one. Previously a device like a DVD recorder would have needed a Digital TV Recorder LSI, an Optical Disc Playback LSI and an Image Composition LSI. Now the UniPhier can do all three of those jobs.
Third, power consumption will be reduced due to the integration of fewer chips on the control board, while the UniPhier chip itself will also draw less power than previous generation 65nm chips.
All in all, it looks like the UniPhier spells good news for the high definition market, and especially for Panasonic.