26th November 2007
Panasonic Deploys Reconfigurable Logic in Professional AV Products
The AJ-HPX2100 solid-state memory professional camcorder is the first commercial use of the D-Fabrix Reconfigurable Algorithm Processor, providing the flexibility for further products to be launched, with new high-performance image processing functions, without the time, cost and risk associated with respinning the SoC.
Bristol, UK, 26th November 2007 - Panasonic, the leading brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. is known, today announced that the AVC-Intra codec board, an add-on for both the AJ-HPX2100 camcorder and the AJ-HPM100 mobile recorder, uses a 130nm System on a Chip (SoC) that contains the company’s D-Fabrix® Reconfigurable Algorithm Processor (RAP). The AVC-Intra board offers the industry's most advanced compression technology, adding support for real-time MPEG4-AVC (H.264) Intra-coded compression of 1080i/720p images, allowing electronic news gathering (ENG) crews as well as cinema and TV program production DP (Director of Photography) to capture and store compressed HD video in real time.
The D-Fabrix, originally developed by Bristol-based Elixent® Ltd. (whose staff and assets were acquired by Matsushita in July 2006), is a reconfigurable processor that is programmed from Verilog RTL and optimised for signal- and image-processing tasks. It offers the flexibility to be dynamically reconfigured and to allow further products to be launched, with new high-performance image processing functions, without the time, cost and risk associated with respinning the SoC. The Matsushita-manufactured SoC used in the AVC-Intra board consists of multiple D-Fabrix arrays that are connected to ASIC blocks and to a standard 32-bit RISC core.
In October 2007, Panasonic announced the achievement of a world-first by applying a 45nm system-on-chip (SoC) to consumer electronics. A new-generation UniPhier®, Panasonic's original digital consumer electronics integration platform, the SoC is used for Panasonic’s Blu-ray disc recorders. The PSDCE centre in Bristol helps drive this culture of innovation, holding many patents relating to the development of the D-Fabrix V2 and V3 RAPs, and has already begun architecture exploration for D-Fabrix V4.
Andy Elms, Director of Panasonic Strategic Semiconductor Development Centre Europe (PSDCE) said, “Seeing the D-Fabrix V2 going into volume production has given our team in Bristol a real boost as we work on the implementation of our new V3 architecture in 45nm silicon. The project has been great team effort between Matsushita’s design teams in the UK and Japan. We’re now actively growing our Bristol team to support the rapid adoption of D-Fabrix into new consumer product ranges.”