New chip promises to usher in low-cost consumer HDTV cameras

The drive to make HDTV ubiquitous got a boost last week with the announcement of the development of a commercial low power HD H.264/AVC system-on-chip (SoC) semiconductor for low-cost hybrid HD video and high-resolution cameras.

The A1 digital camera platform SoC was developed by Ambarella in Sunnyvale, CA. It combines an HD H.264/AVC codec, video processor, still image processor, audio compression and system functions on one chip. It has an operating power of less than one watt and is priced to bring the high definition experience to mainstream consumers, according to the company.

The A1 platform is based on the H.264/AVC video compression standard, the next generation of video compression technology. Ambarella’s platform delivers a 2.5x compression gain over current MPEG-2/4 solutions, providing the efficiency required to store HD video content in flash-based memory, according to the company.

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