Toshiba offers MPEG-4 decoder

Samples of the chip are expected to be made available in the first quarter of 2001, and mass production is expected to start in the second quarter, the company said in a statement.

The MPEG-4 decoder, which is formally known as the TC35274XB MPEG-4 decoder, is expected to cost about $US35 and will be used in devices that can connect to the Internet wirelessly, such as some mobile phones and PDAs (personal data assistants), and in products connected to wireless LANs (local area networks), said Andrew Burt, a Toshiba spokesman.

OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) planning to use the new chip will be announced during the first six months of 2001, Burt said.

The device integrates an MPEG-4 decoder with 4Mbits of embedded DRAM (dynamic random access memory) on a single chip. Putting the decoder and memory on a single piece of silicon reduced the power usage to 50 milliwatts (mW). The decoder performs 15 frames per second of MPEG-4 video decoding with QCIF (Quarter Common Intermediate Format, or 176 pixels by 144 pixels) at 30MHz clock frequency.

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