MADISON, Wis. LSI Logic Corp. has rolled out a single-chip media processor featuring dual-stream encoding capabilities for next-generation DVD recorders equipped with hard disk drives.
The new device, dubbed DMN-8653, is LSI's third-generation DVD recorder system processor. With additional hardware and a 35-percent increase in raw speed running at up to 200 MHz over the company's previous generation processor, the DMN-8653 promises increased performance and added features such as dual-stream encoding and high-speed dubbing.
LSI Logic is positioning the processor as offering consumer OEMs a cost-effective way to add advanced features such as the simultaneous digital recording of two TV programs either in DVD recorders or personal video recorders (PVR) with a dual tuner.
The processor's dual-stream encoding capability enables both the simultaneous recording of two programs as well as a “fully functional, full duplex time shift on live TV,” said James Fox, director of DVD product marketing for LSI Logic's Consumer Products Division. The feature allows users to program pause, rewind and/or fast forward back to live television in the foreground while recording another channel in the background.
Using the new processor, consumer system OEMs would no longer need to add a second MPEG-2 audio/video encoder chip to dual tuner HDD/DVD recorders. OEMs can also take advantage of a flexible Unified Memory Architecture, thus reducing system level costs by at least $10 compared to existing solutions that depend on multiple chips to provide the same feature, the company claimed.
The processor also supports video encoding in multiple formats, including MPEG-1, -2 and -4 formats as well as DivX-certified encoding.
By providing an encoding capability in MPEG-4's simple profile format, OEMs can, for example, support “longer recording time at a lower bit rate and possibly in lower resolution” to save recording space in an optical disk or hard disk drive, said Fox. The MPEG-4 encoding feature might eventually allow a highly compressed video clip to be downloaded into a portable device.
The DMN-8653 also provides “faster than real-time” transfer of a video file from a hard drive to an optical disk drive, according to Fox. The chip's high speed dubbing feature can support up to a 12X-speed optical drive, he added.
LSI Logic will not offer support for the anticipated H.264 video format on the DMN-8653. Expecting delays in the market launch of competing next-generation DVD formats Blu-ray and HDD which will support MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1, LSI Logic executives said it is focused on the current DVD recorder market.
The chip maker is determined to stay ahead in the DVD recorder and digital video recorder/PVR markets, claiming a dual-capable processor is essential for supporting premium features in high-end digital set-top boxes.
The DMN-8653 DVD recorder system processor was manufactured using 0.13-micron process technology and is available to qualified customers starting at $25 in volume quantities.