San Francisco -- In a move it claims will pave the way for increased penetration of location-based services, NXP Semiconductors has introduced a reference design for a personal media player that pairs GPS navigation functionality with multimedia capabilities. The combined hardware- and software-based solution is ticketed for PMPs with retail prices of $250 or less.
The offering is based on the company's PNX1090 Nexperia mobile multimedia processor hardware and on software from NXP and partner ALK Technologies Inc. (Princeton, N.J.). NXP claims the solution offers everything a designer needs to build a low-cost, multimedia-rich portable media player with navigation capability, including MP3 playback, standard- and high-definition video playback and recording, FM radio, image tank functions and gaming.
In place of a GPS baseband processor, NXP uses its swGPS Personal software running on the PNX0190 to perform GPS calculations, in a bid to reduce the bill of materials and enable in-field upgrades.
Location-based services are expected to be deployed on a higher percentage of cellular handsets, PMPs and other mobile devices going forward. A 2005 report from analysis firm Juniper Research predicts the total available market for mobile location-based services will rise from $1 billion in 2005 to $8.5 billion by 2010.
NXP's swGPS Personal software can supply position updates every second to ensure smooth tracking. The platform, which enables autonomous GPS, promises cold start times of less than 35 seconds. The algorithms can be tuned to suit automotive or pedestrian use. The platform also incorporates ALK's CoPilot navigation software and includes maps for the United States and Canada, said D.J. Riezebos, product-marketing manager for NXP's personal entertainment solutions unit.
The solution enables "very smooth" map rotation during turn-by-turn directions, said Riezebos. It can also serve as the backbone for novel applications. For example, "right now, when you use GPS to search for a location, you get some boring text. We can support a virtual tour of a location before you get there."
The technology allows simultaneous MP3 playback and navigation; songs are interrupted when voice guidance is needed. When docked to an HDTV, the PMP platform allows viewing at home.
"We could extend the solution we have today with other things like mobile TV," Riezebos said. "We started with media processing based on local flash memory. We have the ability to extend the product with more navigation."
NXP has also introduced a pair of TV processors for desktop and notebook PCs. The SAA7164E and SAA7163E support multimedia solutions, including Intervideo's WinCinema, media center PCs, Microsoft Windows XP and the Windows Vista operating system.
The SAA7164E supports dual-channel TV as well as radio capture and streaming via hardware AV compression, enabling independent watch, record and advanced personal video recorder features. The SAA7163E is described as a single-channel, cost-effective derivative of the SAA7164E.
The company also recently rolled out two TV reference designs for LCD TVs: Nexperia TV520/80, for ATSC/NTSC, and Nexperia TV520/82, for DVB/PAL.
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