STMicroelectronics' STn8815 embeds two new smart accelerators and more memory to provide higher performance while ensuring full software reuse for the company's Nomadik mobile devices.
ST's third Nomadic device is pin-compatible with the STn8810. It adds a level-two cache to its ARM9 CPU and dedicated on-chip imaging and graphics processors to the video and audio accelerators of the earlier device. The STn8815 also features an enhanced Security Toolbox and new packaging options.
It retains the ultra-low power consumption, open platform strategy, high video and audio quality, very small footprint, and scalable performance of previous devices.
It is intended for mobile applications such as smart phones, mobile multimedia devices, internet access products, and car entertainment systems to play broadcasted media content, record images and video clips, and perform bidirectional audio-visual communication with other systems in real time.
Nomadik’s Smart Imaging Accelerator (SIA) operates as a real-time, programmable image-reconstruction engine at up to 80 Mpixels/s. It can be used in camera-phone systems, based on 5 Mpixel sensors, to execute noise reduction, auto-focus and exposure control, and other fundamental algorithms, therefore eliminating the need for an external imaging co-processor and reducing the system BOM (bill-of-materials).
The SIA, coupled with the Smart Video Accelerator (SVA), which is capable of 30 Mpixel/s JPEG-image encoding, allows advanced multi-shot camera performance, as well as low-power video encoding. The STn8815 integrates two SMIA (Standard Mobile Imaging Architecture) CCP2 (Compact Camera Port 2) camera interfaces, and supports 10-bit raw Bayer RGB data formats.
The new imaging accelerator supports 2D/3D graphics-intensive applications. STn8815 supports high-quality camcorder applications, thanks to the accelerated 30-frame/s SDTV (standard-definition) MPEG-4 encoding which runs in parallel to complex audio processing.
The H264/AVC decoding, accelerated via the SVA, and supporting up to VGA format at 30frames per second, enables significantly improved performance for mobile TV. The Smart Audio Accelerator supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, Midi synthesis, plus all major speech codecs, with a 24-bit audio data path, and noise reduction, echo canceling, stereo enhancements, and surround effects.
The CPU is an ARM926EJ RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) processor core, to ensure full backward compatibility with existing Nomadik processor software and the significant ARM9-based software legacy in the industry.
The core includes a memory management unit (MMU), 16 kbyte data and instruction caches, and 128 kbyte level-2 cache which boosts performance while reducing the number of accesses to the external memory. It operates at a clock frequency up to 334MHz, delivering 1000 MIPS (32-bit RISC-equivalent), on top of the performance of the hardware accelerators for video, audio, imaging, and graphics.
An embedded SRAM of 512Mbytes enables complex applications that cannot be achieved with standard processing architectures. The platform provides direct support for high-level operating systems such as Symbian OS and Windows Mobile.
The compact 14 x 14mm BGA (ball-grid-array) packages are pin-to-pin compatible with the STn8810, and use the same stacked-chip technology to provide memory variants, including SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) and NAND Flash memory within the same package. In addition, the STn8815 will be available in package-on-package versions bringing extra functionality within the same footprint.
The Nomadik family of multimedia application processors now comprises the original STn8800/01 (differing in packaging), the STn8810/S12 (differing in memory), and the STn8815, which is available to key customers in engineering sample quantities with volume production expected in Q4 2006. US pricing is expected to be approximately $19 for quantities of 10,000 pieces.
More information is available at www.st.com.