Dialog Semi’s gambit on mobile 2D/3D chip
12/13/2010 12:01 AM EST
Rolling the dice on mobile 3-D
Dialog’s foray into 2-D-to-3-D
conversion is not without risk. A number of chip companies are focused
on delivering on-the-fly 3-D conversion for large-screen TVs, but
Dialog’s CEO said the company is betting that the buzz around 3-D will
“move from home TV to handheld devices in 2011.”
calculated gamble; Nintendo, for one, plans a big push in mobile 3-D
early next year with its 3DS handheld, which will feature a 3-D screen
and camera. With no all-in-one 3-D chip solution optimized for handhelds
available on the market, Dialog’s conversion chip (which integrates
full parallax barrier control, pixel formatter and driver) could stand
out, positioning the German company to ride the crest of the expected
3-D wave for handheld game machines, smartphones and tablets.
DA8223 has a hardwired, dedicated architecture that puts no extra load
on the host application processor and requires no external memory,
Bagherli said. Describing the DA8223 as an accelerator, he said the chip
can be plugged into existing portable devices, “retrofitting them
The DA8223 converts 2-D still images or video
frames into a “depth map” that separates picture elements into
foreground and background pixels. It then renders each original 2-D
pixel in real-time using two pixels (one for each eye). The DA8223 uses
the depth map to determine the degree of separation, or shift, between
each pixel; the greater the shift, the deeper the 3-D effect.
engineering team designed the DA8223 for displays that use parallax
barriers to enable glasses-free 3-D viewing. The parallax barrier method
uses an additional LCD display to create small slits that block the
light between each eye. Because it can be switched off, it can enable
both 2-D and 3-D image display.
The industry has seen 3-D mobile phone attempts go nowhere in the past, but the climate has changed, according to Bagherli.
For one, the industry has made heavy investment in recent years in parallax barriers, he said.
2-D-to-3-D conversion will also mitigate the lack of 3-D content, but
the key to successful 3-D mobile devices will be glasses-free viewing,
The DA8223 provides standard RGB 24-bit bus
I/O supporting up to 1,024 x 600 screen resolution and a fully
configurable dual parallax barrier controller with an integrated charge
pump that drives portrait and landscape modes. Dialog said the chip will
work with any display equipped with a parallax barrier filter.