Thursday, January 26, 2012

ADV7441A 1080p Video Decoder

The ADV7441A is a high quality multiformat video decoder and graphics digitizer with an integrated 2:1 multiplexed HDMI™ receiver. The ADV7441A supports the 525i, 625i, 525p, 625p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and 1250i component video standards, as well as many other HD and SMPTE standards. SCART and overlay functionality are enabled by the ability of the ADV7441A to process CVBS and standard definition RGB signals simultaneously. As a graphics digitizer, the ADV7441A can digitize RGB graphics signals from VGA to UXGA rates and convert them to a digital RGB or YCrCb (YUV4:2:2) pixel output stream. 

ADV7441A Functional Block Diagram
For more detail, check the design support files and support forum site:

ADV7441a Support Forum Site

ADV7441A Design Support Files

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Performance Comparison between Medfield (Intel), Tegra 3 (NVIDIA), OMAP4 (TI), Exynos (Samsung), MSM8260 (Qualcomm)

During this year of CES, Intel announced a mobile platform Medfield as shown in the follow diagram (Medfield platform overview with Penwell SoC shown in blue), or called the Intel Atom Z2460.

The Medfield chip includes the single-core Saltwall, 512-kbytes of level-2 cache, the single-core SGX540 2-D/3-D graphics processor licensed from Imagination Technologies Group plc (Kings Langley, England) as well as blocks for high definition (1080p) multi-standard video encode/decode and separate programmable image signal processor. The graphics processor is clocked at 400-MHz.

High power consumption has been a criticism of Intel's SoC designs in the past and to save it Intel has added a raft of power management features.

The Penwell SoC has a dedicated 32-nm process and Intel has made design changes in the creation of Saltwell CPU core to support a lower than usual minimum voltage operation. It also has what it describes as an ultra-low power L2 cache.

The Penwell SoC is designed to support an 8- to 24-megapixel primary camera as well as a secondary 2-megapixel camera. To aid catching the right shot the SoC also supports 10-frame burst-mode photography mode. That captures 10 full 8-megapixel pictures at 15 frames per second. Part of the support for this is in the image signal processing core which is believed to derive from the technology of Silicon Hive, acquired by Intel in February 2011.

The wireless modem is also a separate IC; originally the IFX6260 HSPA+ modem IC, from Infineon Technologies AG. That IC became an Intel part when the company acquired the wireless business unit of Infineon at the beginning of 2011 and has been relabeled by Intel variously the IMC6260 or the XMM 6260.

A third-chip within the Medfield platform is a combination connectivity chip from Texas Instruments that provides Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio and it appears that GPS support comes from CSR plc.

Analysts from Nomura Equity Research predicted that Medfield would be introduced at a price of $17 or $18.

"Intel Medfield vs NVIDIA Tegra 3 performance preview" shows some early performance numbers from the Java benchmark CaffeineMark from vr-zone.

"Intel's Medfield & Atom Z2460 Arrive for Smartphones: It's Finally Here" compared SunSpider and BrowserMark performance between Intel Medfield reference platform with others:

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser


Galaxy Nexus running Android Ice Cream Sandwich has 1.2GHz TI 4460 OMAP microprocessor inside and The Motorla Droid Razr runs on a 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4430 chipset. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Microprocessor Market to 2015

GBI Research’s new report, “Microprocessor Market to 2015- Enterprise Shift to Cloud Computing and Popularity of Mobile Computing Increasing Demand for Multi-Core Processor Chips” provides key information and analysis on the market opportunities in the Microprocessor industry. The report also provides region-based and end-user based forecasts up to 2015. The end-user based forecasts up to 2015 are given for the computers, communications and servers. The key market trends for wide range of these applications are discussed.

  • Cloud Computing to Fuel Growth of Microprocessors
Increased adoption of cloud computing among various enterprises will lead to the development of servers suitable for cloud computing. This indirectly increases usage of microprocessors that will help the cloud computing to deal with issues such as security. The rising demand for cloud computing services among enterprises and customers has its impact on the microprocessor market through the technology people use to access these services. This has led to the designing and development of microprocessors to power efficient servers for cloud computing.

Cloud computing will make it easier for startups to launch and smaller firms to benefit from huge data centers shared by various enterprises in the cloud. This increases the adoption of cloud computing among various firms which indirectly increases the customers of microprocessors.

  • Increased Demand of Multi-Core Processors in Mobile Computing
The increase in demand for faster applications in mobile phones will lead to increased demand for multi-core processors due to their faster processing speeds and low energy consumption.

Multi-core processors have become the primary way to enable higher performance and to support multiple applications to run in parallel. Today, a faster processor consumes more power and drains the batteries in mobile devices. Therefore, the manufacturers are shifting towards energy-saving multi-core designs, where multiple low-power processors on a single chip replicate the performance of a single, faster processor. The manufacturer’s focus has also shifted to multi-core processors with upcoming multimedia applications such as 3-D graphics in smart phones.

  • Internet Usage Increases the Demand for Fast Processors
The rise in internet penetration through the years is leading to the demand for faster processors. This trend of rising internet users is creating a strong demand for embedded microprocessors that can be utilized to enable the customers to accomplish multiple tasks using a single device. Therefore, the processor manufacturers might concentrate more on the supply of fast processors in order to serve the existing demand. 

The key players in this market mentioned are

- Intel Corporation
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc
- Broadcom
- Texas Instruments Inc.
- ARM Holdings plc
- Qualcomm Incorporated

See more in
 Research and Markets, the largest resource for market research information in world providing essential market research reports, industry research, industry analysis, forecasts, market studies, company profiles and country reports.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TI OMAP5 for Tablets and eBooks

TI OMAP5 includes Dual-core, ARM Cortex-A15-based processor, PoP, dual-channel LPDDR2 (OMAP5430) or dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L (OMAP5432), It should be good for Tablets and eBooks which support wireless connectivity, video, audio and power management. The following block diagram shows the architecture.

For more detail see "TI Solutions for Tablets and eBooks".

Monday, January 16, 2012

Multi-Core Debug With CCS

In complex SoCs, just to observe and control a single core is insufficient. Tools to watch concurrent processes are needed when you want to detect, trace, and eliminate software problems or to profile system behavior for performance optimization. CCStudio v4 and v5 supports debug of multi-cores targets. See TI Wiki and CDT wiki:
The slides Multi-Core Debugging with  CCSv5 Basis provide the same info. In "DSP/BIOS on Multi-Core singleimage", some techniques to avoid
  • Read/write data corruption between the cores;
  • Breakpoint corruption between the cores;
are discussed.

JTAGjet is a JTAG for concurrent multi-core debugging with CCS and other debuggers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TI Says First OMAP 5 Device Could Debut In Q4

According to Greg Delagi, the senior vice president and general manager of TI’s Wireless Business Unit, in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), OMAP 5 will come to the consumer market “maybe in the fourth-quarter [of 2012].”  OMAP 5 uses 28 nanometer CMOS low-power process, differs from OMAP 4 in that it uses a dual-core A15 CPU, the next generation from chip designer ARM. That will improve power efficiency and graphics, among other features.

A number of those devices will be based on the Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) version of Google‘s Android mobile platform for which TI served as the reference platform. Some of the most eye-catching elements in Ice Cream Sandwich like the “face unlock” facial recognition feature and the photo-stitching panoramic image function use processing elements built deep into OMAP, said Delagi.

OMAP5430 Chip Block Diagram - Thumbnail

OMAP 5 features
  • Designed to drive Smartphones, Tablets and other multimedia-rich mobile devices
  • Multi-core ARM® Cortex™ processors
  • Two ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processors capable of speeds up to 2 GHz each
  • Two ARM Cortex-M4 processors for low-power offload and real-time responsiveness
  • Multi-core POWERVR™ SGX544-MPx graphics accelerators drive 3D gaming and 3D user interfaces
  • Dedicated TI 2D BitBlt graphics accelerator
  • IVA-HD hardware accelerators enable full HD 1080p60, multi-standard video encode/decode as well as 1080p30 stereoscopic 3D (S3D)
  • Faster, higher-quality image and video capture with up to 24 megapixels (or 12 megapixels S3D) imaging and 1080p60 (or 1080p30S3D) video
  • Supports four cameras and four displays simultaneously 
  • Packaging and memory: 14mm x 14mm, 0.4mm pitch PoP dual-channel LPDDR2 memory

Windows Remote or Network Debugging II - DebugView and KdPrint

DebugView is an application to monitor debug output on a local system, or any computer on the network reached via TCP/IP. It is capable of displaying both kernel-mode and Win32 debug output, so we don't need a debugger to catch the debug output applications or device drivers generate, nor do we need to modify our applications or drivers to use non-standard debug output APIs.

The product basically captures all messages sent to the OutputDebugString Win32 API function that would not otherwise be caught be a process debug. It can capture outputs from DbgPrint and KdPrint at debug mode.

The current version is v4.77. It is free. The command to capture debug info on the target machine (local) is

       Dbgview.exe  /k /v /l log.txt.

log.txt is the output file.

The server (agent) mode command is

       Dbgview.exe /a /t /k

and so the remote machine can connect the target machine to see the debug output. The help command is

      Dbgview.exe /?


See more at "DebugView v4.77".

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Windows Remote or Network Debugging I - windbg

Traditionally Windows kernel (including drivers) debugging relied on serial null modem cable via COM ports or 1394 cable connected to the target device.

Figure 1 Target and Host.

Thanks to networking, a TCP based client/server mechanism is supported with windbg to allow using a computer to debug the target Windows device through a shared network. The following articles provided very helpful info:
Download windbg with Windows SDK:

Download Debugging Tools from the Windows SDK

Or directly from

2012 Android Tablet Comparison: Transformer Prime TF700T, IdealTab S2, Le Pan III

Process Node
NVIDIA Tegra 3/Kal-El
4 x ARM Cortex A9 w/ MPE @ ~1.3GHz
Android 4.0
2 x  Krait core  @ 1.5~1.7GHz
Android 4.0
2 x ARM Cortex A9 w/ MPE @ 1.5GHz
Android 4.0

The current Asus Transformer Prime is ranked as the best Android tablet in 2011 with a sexy design, thoughtful features, and an impressive camera. It runs on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chip, and so does Sony Tablet S which was ranked as the No.2 best Android tablet by Cnet

The  Asus Transformer Prime TF700T will feature a 1920 x 1200 screen as opposed to the 1280 x 800 panel on the first Transformer Prime device.

Lenovo IdeaTab S2 also comes with a keyboard dock so it can transform into a laptop much like the Asus Transformer Prime. It packs a Qualcomm 1.5GHz Dual Krait processor, that 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS touch screen, 1GB LP-DDR2 memory, 16GB, 23GB and 64GB storage, GPS/AGPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.


Lenovo IdeaTab S2

The LePan III comes with a TI OMAP 4460, 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM powering a build of Android 4.0. A 5MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera are coupled with 8GB of storage and plenty of connectivity including 1080p output, USB, and ethernet.  The OMAP 4 platform's smart multicore architecture complements two ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPcores with a full HD video encode/decode accelerator, powerful graphics core from Imagination Technologies (SGX540 or SGX544), hardware display subsystem and dual-channel LPDDR2 memory to drive such usage models. Premium content is protected end-to-end through TI's M-Shield™ security solution, which runs secure services from its trusted execution environment (TEE).  TI OMAP 4460 is the first certified processor for Netflix full-HD streaming on Android Honeycomb.


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