Thursday, March 26, 2009

On2 readies 1080p video encoding for mobiles

EE Times Europe View Blog

BARCELONA, Spain — Silicon IP specialist for digital video, On2 Technologies, is using this week's Mobile Word Congress here to launch its hard-wired HD video encoder that supports full-frame 1080p video.

Dubbed the Hantro 8270, the part lets mobile phone designers add the latest video decoding capabilities, including H.264 Baseline, Main and High Profile video along with 16Mpixel JPEG still images.

The encoder has a minimal clock frequency requirement, less than 250MHz needed for 30fps 1080p video.

Jani Huoponen, VP of product marketing at On2, said the Hantro 8270 "takes video encoding to the next level," and that the company "is talking to several SoC suppliers targeting high end smartphones who want to design in and license the IP for next generation devices."

Previous generation decoders from On2's Hantro division, such as the 8190launched at last year's MWC, are already being designed into devices for mobile applications.

Huoponen would not reveal the names of customers for the latest design, but said companies such as Freescale Semiconductors, MediaTek and Infineon Technologies are major customers of its IP for both mobile applications and for VP6 and VP7 video compression for desktops.

On2 acquired Oulu, Finland-based video compression technology specialist Hantro Oy in late 2007.

On2's codec portfolio includes TrueMotion V6 and V7, MPEG2 and 4, VC-1, H2.64. The proprietary TrueMotion codecs are used in Adobe Flash and Skype, amongst others.

The 8270 is being offered first for FPGAs and Huoponen said he expects first silicon to be in production during the first half of 2010. He said the 8270 IP will be available for licensing from next month and expects the first applications will be for high end phones and the video surveillance / security market.

"The biggest opportunity for us will definitely be mobile phones as ours is a licensing model, and that is where the volumes will be."

Power consumption has been a critical design issue for 1080p capable decoders targeting the mobiles sector, as well as maintaining a low overall clock frequency, said Huoponen. He adds On2 has focused on efficient pipeline utilization and smart parallelism for key functions to meet the industry's expectations for 1080p video.

Huoponen considers U.K group Imagination Technologies and Korean company Chips and Media as the main competition for hard-wired IP, but he stresses they mostly target consumer applications, not the mobile phones sector.

Hantro 8270 H.264 Video Encoder 

Configurable hardware (RTL) design for low powered multimedia SOCs

Ultra low power high performance 1080p H.264 encoder IP core
The Hantro 8270 H.264 encoder core processes up to 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 30 frames per second. Designed for any HD application, from mobile devices to security cameras, it  requires less than 250MHz  clock frequency to compress H.264 in real-time.

The Hantro 8270 incorporates a proprietary indexed full search motion estimation algorithm to reduces clock requirement without affecting video quality. Built-in camera stabilization technologies further improve the quality and compression ratio of live video capture, and scene change detection algorithms improve transcode performance as well as bring significant benefits to surveillance solutions. 

Minimal power consumption, optimal silicon utilization and easy integration:

  • Optimize silicon area by selecting only the formats and functions needed.
  • Choose internal memory requirement according to your resolution requirements.
  • Share internal memories with the Hantro 8190 decoder for a full codec solution.
  • Choose bus protocol interfaces from AHB, AXI, OCP & APB.
  • Simple API. OpenMax, Symbian MDF and DirectShow® options available.

Supported formats and resolutions 


High, Main & Baseline
JPEG16MpixelsBaseline DCT (sequential) & JFIF 1.02 file format

Hantro 8270 H.264 / JPEG  Encoder Block Diagram


Proprietary Video Stabilization  Technology 

The Hantro 8270 H.264 / JPEG Encoder incorporates unique technology to improve the observed image quality of captured video by counteracting the effects of camera shake. When the feature is enables, each frame or raw video is analyzed and the undesired movement is removed by cropping and repositioning the frame (illustrated below). The level of stabilization can be configured by defining the size of area to be cropped.

In addition to improving perceived image quality, compression efficiency is also increase as the frame analysis and cropping are done prior to encoding.

Hantro 8270 H264 / JPEG Encoder Deliverables
  • RTL source code (VHDL or Verilog) with an RTL test bench and test data.
  • ANSI C source code for hardware drivers with software test bench and test data.
  • Technical documentation; hardware and software integration guides and application programming interface (API) manuals.

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