Friday, September 29, 2006

Lots of fuss over mobile TV

Several mobile TV chip makers have been 'participating' in the debate over whether the time is right for a single chip for DVB-H etc. Frontier Semiconductor launched a single chip at IBC, but DibCom said that fixed function optimised for cost are still the way to go.
Imagination Technologies hit back saying its programmable demodulator is pretty much the same size as a fixed function demodulator, so there.

This is what the fight is all about - the Nokia N93 with DVB-H mobile TV using the Dibcom demodulator, but TI is fighting hard to get its Hollywood single chip designed in.



But the argument is still where the different elements go: the demodulator can be integrated into the applications processor and this is the approach that graphics giant Nvidia is looking at (which is fine with Imagination becasue they will icesne you the technology to do that) but will be a bit of a blow to Frontier. But it leaves the RF tuner guys laughing.
But it's all horses for courses, as there will be some handset makers that want to put a simple single chip down on the design, and others that want to integrate it, so there will the time to market issues as well as cost. Designers such as TTP (above) are using whatever is best on the market (and they developed the first DAB module for Imagination that was later licensed to Frontier).
The kicker was Vodafone this week saying it doesn't actually like broadcast mobile TV such as DVB-H, as the broadcasters getthe money instead of them. Instead it will be using high speed 3G modem standards HSDPA and HSUPA (eg a chip from Icera Semiconductor and Qualcomm) to put the video over the 3G network, as they already have the spectrum (and have to pay for it) and the broadcasters don't.

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