LONDON Fabless startup Movidia (Dublin, Ireland) has taped out and will be demonstrating at next monthís Mobile World Congress in Barcelona its first mobile video processor that is optimized for capturing and editing audio and video clips by users on a mobile phone and other consumer electronics equipment.
The chip, dubbed the MA1110, is expected to be in volume production by the end of this year, and, according to Movidia CEO Sean Mitchell, should be available in high-end phones by the middle of 2010.
Mitchell told EE Times Europe the company has already engaged with most tier 1 mobile phone makers about incorporating the device, and expects it to be used initially by OEMs and ODMs targeting the Asian market where applications such as sophisticated video editing and using functions such as user generated content (UGC) are likely to take off before Europe and the US.
The chip to be made by TSMC on a 65-nm process supports complex video post-production features previously only achievable on a desktop computer. Users can capture, edit, view and publish their videos using only their phone.
The device, which will come in an 8 by 8mm BGA package, supports high resolutions of all standard audio and video CODECs and APIs to ensure full compatibility with a wide range of content.
Full details of the device were not made available, but the chip acts as a video co-processor, and likely uses parallel processing to maintain the lower power requirements of the mobile phone.
At the heart of the hybrid architecture chip is a 32-bit Risc core, and the company has developed a proprietary internal bus structure to support the high level of data throughput.
"Analysts are unanimous in pointing out that the market for social networking and UGC is exploding. Network operators and phone manufacturers are queuing up to release 'Facebook phones', or offer individual video features like slow-mo", said Mitchell.
"Yet until now no phone has been able to perform complex video editing on a phone in real time", he added.
Movidia was founded in 2006 by Mitchell, CTO David Moloney and COO Paul Costigan. It secured in October 2008 $14 million of Series A funding.
The company's R&D and sales teams are located in Dublin, Hong Kong and Romania. Of the company's 50 employees, about 30 are based at the R&D centre in Timisora, Romania, and the design centre manager, Valentin Muresan, is of Romanian origin.
Mitchell says the company's chip is the only in-phone, post-production chip of its kind currently sampling.