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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 09, 2014

Sigma Designs Intro Single Chip, Ultra HD Frame Rate Conversion Chip

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Sigma Designs (News - Alert) has introduced FRCX, a single chip, Ultra HD frame rate conversion chip, at CES 2014. The company expects that this new product will help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to meet the technical as well as cost demands of large-size TVs.

Mustafa Ozgen, general manager of home multimedia at Sigma Designs, said that the FRCX will enable OEMs to meet the technical and cost demands of large size TVs by “setting a new benchmark in integration of many capabilities into a single device while providing best video processing performance.”

The company has developed FRCX for large-size LCD and OLED panels, which are more than 50 inches in size and feature high quality frame rate conversion, judder removal and Ultra HD upscaling. Industry reports predict that the demand for panels larger than 50 inches is increasingly growing. The introduction of the FRCX is seen as a move to tap this growing market.   

Sigma’s new single chip features functionality of as many as five features, which slashes the overall BOM costs. OEMs are continuously seeking technologies that enable them to deliver “cutting edge” Ultra HD TVs at competitive cost. The FRCX makes it possible by improving performance, according to company officials.

The FRCX combines an Ultra HD Super-resolution engine, video upscaler to upscale HD video to Ultra HD resolution and motion estimation/motion compensation (ME/MC) frame rate conversion (FRC) and 3D TV technologies.

Company officials said that the FRCX chip has flexible input interfaces such as LVDS, VbyOne and HDMI, which allow the use of FRCX with Sigma's Ultra HD TV SoCs, or with other TV SoCs and mobile application processors available from OEMs in-house design teams or from other third party chip suppliers.

Ozgen noted that average panel size for HDTVs is on the rise and the resolution is rapidly changing from Full HD to Ultra HD for large screen sizes.

The average size of LCD TVs is increasing, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Worldwide FPD Shipment and Forecast Report, which was published in December, 2013. The report forecasts that 32 million units of large screen size TVs of 50 inches or above will be sold worldwide in 2014.  

The first generation Ultra HD TVs, according to Ozgen, had to compromise on many aspects of the product, including BOM cost, HD to Ultra HD video upscaling and frame rate conversion performance due to lack of FRCX like devices in the market.

“Our engineering team has been hard at work to overcome the challenges of integrating so many Ultra HD functionalities into a single chip while providing the best video upscaling and ME/MC features for 2nd generation Ultra HD TVs,” Ozgen said.  

Sigma Designs develops semiconductor technologies that serve as the foundation for IPTV (News - Alert) set-top boxes, connected media players, residential gateways, home control systems and more.

Earlier in December, 2013, the company announced that LATAM STB manufacturers are engaging in production of a turn-key solution based on Sigma's SoC design for hybrid ISDB-T set top boxes (STB) for Argentina and other countries using ISDB-T.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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