TOKYO Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. has announced that its UniPhier integrated platform is ready for production, with the first chip going into an SD card movie camera due out this month.
After being first used internally, Matsushita will start selling the LSI chips around 2007 and expects to grow the business to about ¥100 billion yen (about $900 million) in 2010.
According to Susumu Koike, senior managing director of technology and president of Matsushita Semiconductor Company, Matsushita proposed the integrated platform named UniPhier (Universal Platform for High-quality Image-Enhancing Revolution) in September last year. The platform integrates a scalable hardware platform and re-usable software platform for efficient development of digital consumer electronics products.
Matsushita developed three types of UniPhier system-on-chip LSIs for portable audio/video equipment, mobile phones and home audio/video systems.
All three LSIs share the same architecture a CPU and a scalable UniPhier processor and other function blocks. By optimizing blocks for each application, each of the LSIs has different features such as low power consumption or strong media processing capability depending on requirements in each application. But these LSIs provide the same software environment based on open operating systems.
"Basically we are going to use Linux as the operating system for UniPhier," said Koike.
The UniPhier for portable AV applications is already embedded in the movie camera, and the remaining two LSIs will also be used in Matsushita's products to be marketed next year.
In the UniPhier roadmap announced simultaneously, Matsushita plans to use ARM's Cortex-A8 processor for the embedded CPU in second-phase UniPhier LSIs around 2007, and intends to introduce a reconfigurable architecture to the UniPhier processor in the third phase by 2009.