WAYNE, N.J. -- Renesas Technology Corp. will give designers of lower-end mobile phones an ability to add camera capabilities to their designs with the release Monday (April 26) of a slimmed-down version of its SH-Mobile application processor.
For two years, wireless-handset vendors have pushed to implement camera phone capabilities into high-end architectures, increasing end-user demand. Now phone vendors are looking to bring camera capabilities to mid- and low-tier phone designs. To that end, Renesas has re-architected its SH-Mobile processor to bring video and audio-processing capabilities to the device.
"The SH-MobileL processor extends our reach down in terms of camera phones," said Brian Davis, director of business development at Renesas.
Like past members of the SH-Mobile family, the SH-MobileL processor (also known as the SH7322) is developed around the company's SH3-DSP CPU core, which is clocked at 120 MHz and delivers a 156-Mips maximum processing performance. Additionally, the chip offers 16 kbytes of XYRAM for digital signal processor operation, 32 kbytes of user RAM, 32 kbytes cache, and a video I/O module that handles image processing and linking up with external camera modules.
The big difference between the top-end members of the SH-Mobile family and the SH-MobileL device can be found in the amount of peripherals. "We didn't need as many peripherals on this chip," Davis said. For example, Renesas removed a key scan capability as well as some of the higher-end UARTs when crafting the SH-MobileL, Davis said. Additionally, the company left off a data flash interface, which is used to link up with an external storage device.
In addition to the video I/O interface, the chip comes with an I2C bus, a serial interface and a serial interface with FIFO. It also offers an asynchronous serial interface and a MultiMediaCard/SD Card interface for linking up with external memory cards.
Besides reducing peripherals, Renesas also cut back on some of the processing tasks provided in its higher-end application processor lines. For example, higher-end versions of the SH-Mobile processor family are equipped with a 2-D/3-D graphics core as well as a block for NTSC TV decoding. Both of those functions, Davis said, were not included when the SH-MobileL processor was developed.
The SH-MobileL processor operates from a 1.4- to 1.6-volt internal voltage and either 2.7- to 3-V or 1.65- to 1.95-V external voltage. In MPEG-4 encoding/decoding sessions, the chip will consume about 300 to 350 milliwatts of power. The chip provides a through-mode capability, however, that allows power to be reduced to approximately 10 microamps. In a typical low-end phone, the application processor would sit between the baseband processor and liquid-crystal display.
The SH-MobileL processor is delivered in a 281-pin chip-scale package that measures 9 x 11 x 14 mm. The application processor is sampling now with volume production slated for May 2004. The chip is priced at $13.90 in 10,000-unit quantities.