CANNES, France -- During the 3GSM World Congress conference here today, STMicroelectronics and U.K.-based Imagination Technologies Group announced plans to cooperate in development of system-on-chip platforms for mobile multimedia systems.
The planned co-development will extend a three-year partnership between the two companies, which have been cooperating in PC graphics and video accelerators chips. Last summer, the two companies said they would also work on solutions for three-dimensional images (see June 26 story).
Two weeks ago, STMicroelectronics announced it would pull out of the competitive PC graphics accelerator business (see Feb. 8 story). The move raised questions about its partnership with Imagination Technologies, but now the emphasis is shifting to mobile handsets and consumer products.
STMicroelectronics, based in the Geneva area, said its Pocket Multimedia (PMM) platform will target handheld entertainment applications, such as audio and video playback and 3-D gaming. These handheld systems have stringent power consumption requirements, and ST said it is integrating a RISC processor core from SuperH Inc.--the company's joint venture with Hitachi Ltd. in San Jose (see Dec. 7 story) -- with 2-D/3-D graphics and video acceleration intellectual property (IP) from Imagination Technologies. The Imagination Technologies' PowerVR MBX 3D/2D and video acceleration core will be used to address connectivity, video and display, storage and security and related software requirements, said ST.
The new system-on-chip (SoC) platform will provide systems manufacturers with "rapid entry into a potentially huge market," predicted John Metcalfe, vice president of business development at PowerVR Technologies, a division of Imagination Technologies.
The two companies said the PowerVR MBX, implemented in 0.13-micron process, will feature high-performance 2-D, 3-D and video-graphics processing (up to 4 million triangles-per-second at 120-MHz clock speed) in die area of about 6 mm2 in an SoC solution. The power consumption will be less than 60-mWatts at clock speeds of 50 MHz, they said.