Ready-to-use reference designs squeeze into portable media players

Camas, WA — Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas announced today two new reference designs to address the growing category of portable multimedia applications, including hand-held video players, digital photo albums, audio jukeboxes, and multimedia toys. These ready-to-use reference designs provide complete hardware and software solutions enabling easy product differentiation, rapid time to market, and lower system costs.

Portable media players are part of a new generation of devices that enable consumers to manage audio, image, and video files in a single, hand-held platform. According to a recent report, In-Stat MDR forecasts that over 100 million MPEG-4 ICs for mobile applications will ship in 2007. To meet this market demand, developers will need lower cost and higher quality solutions than are currently available. Sharp is dedicated to meeting this demand with two new media player reference designs.

Reference Designs Provide System Solution Featuring Sharp's SoCs and LCDs With a strong history in media technology, and as a market leader in LCD, NOR Flash memory, CMOS imagers, optoelectronics, and other components, Sharp is uniquely positioned to deliver reference designs that are well integrated, proven solutions based on Sharp components. Both reference designs include a development board, bill of materials, schematics, operating system software, video and audio codecs, board support package, and technical support. Application complexity, component count, weight, and device size are all minimized, translating into a lower overall system cost.

The Sharp LH7A404 ARM9 SoC is a key component in both reference designs. In a single package it provides all the major interfaces needed for hand-held portable media players including an interface to Sharp's latest generation LCD panels, AC97 audio, CompactFlash, MMC/SD, USB, NAND Flash, and SDRAM support, and sufficient performance to decode compressed video and audio.

Both reference designs are also based on a state-of-the-art LCD display from Sharp. The QVGA reference design leverages a unique 3.6-inch native landscape Amorphous Silicon (A-Si) TFT-LCD (LQ036Q1DA01) specifically developed for portable media applications. The QCIF+ reference design utilizes a 2.2-inch A-Si TFT-LCD (LQ022B8UD04) also developed for mobile applications. Both panels provide excellent color saturation and low power consumption with LED backlighting.

Sharp will begin shipping the QCIF+ reference design to customers starting in August 2004 and the QVGA reference design will ship in September 2004. These designs are the first in a series of reference designs that will address next generation media players, electronic learning, and gaming devices.

For more information regarding Sharp's reference designs, contact Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas at 1-800-642-0261, or visit

For more information on the LH7A404 SoC, visit

LH7A404 reference design data sheet

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