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ZMS-08: world's first Blu-ray quality media processor for handheld devices

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November 11, 2009

The ZMS-08 media processor from ZiiLabs offers full 1080p, Blu-ray quality playback on a l...

The ZMS-08 media processor from ZiiLabs offers full 1080p, Blu-ray quality playback on a low power chip

With the development of the ZMS-08 system on a chip, ZiiLabs is aiming to bring high performance media processing to low power devices. As well as allowing full Blu-ray quality 1080p video playback, the chip supports simultaneous HD encode and decode, 3D and 2D image processing and advanced audio.

The ZMS-08 is the third generation of media processors developed by Zii Labs and runs four times faster and has twice the power efficiency of previous incarnations.

At its heart is a technology featuring 64 fully programmable floating point processing elements called the StemCell Computing architecture. When combined with the ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 1GHz (which includes 1Gb RAM, 256K L2 cache, NEON and security courtesy of Trustzone), ZiiLabs claims that it makes high performance media processing available to low power devices such as web tablets, netbooks, connected TVs, video conferencing systems and home media hubs.

Hock Leow, President of ZiiLABS said: "Its new capabilities such as Blu-ray quality playback, 720p simultaneous encode and decode of H.264 video, accelerated OpenGL ES 2.0 and rich peripheral integration such as dual USB controllers and HDMI are blurring the boundary between the capabilities of the traditional PC and connected device."

As well as making it possible for mobile devices to decode full 1080p video at 40 frames per second (fps) or encode at 24 fps, the ZMS-08 will also benefits from 3D and 2D image processing at up to one gigapixels per second, features advanced Xtreme Fidelity X-Fi Audio effects and fully supports formats such as WMV9, MPEG2, MPEG4 and Adobe Flash 10.

In addition to having four bi-directional video ports, the ZMS-08 also supports full high definition HDMI output at 60 fps. The 13 x 13mm, 424-pin FBGA package also benefits from secure Boot ROM, three SDIO/MMC ports, UARTs, SPI, GPIO and advanced 64-bit and 32-bit memory controller supporting mDDR and DDR2 at up to 333MHz.

Some device manufacturers are currently sampling the processor but we're unlikely to see it start appearing in our mobile gadgets until early next year.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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