Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the company that manufactures various consumer electronics under Panasonic brand-name, recently said that it had started to use Large-Scale Integration (LSI) chips made using 45nm process technology in its Diga high-definition video recorders. The announcement comes about a month before Intel Corp. kicks off mass production of its 45nm chips.
The new high-definition video processor from Panasonic is capable of simultaneously processing two 1080p (1920x1080, progressive scan) video stream encoded using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and can compresses a full-HD image into 50% to 33% of its original size, the company said. The new video processor consists of 250 million of transistors.
The new processor is already used in UniPhier, Panasonic’s original digital consumer electronics integration platform. The new LSI is used for six new models of Panasonic’s new Diga-series high definition video recorders, including Blu-ray disc recorders with a hard disc drive (HDD) and HDD/DVD recorders, scheduled for release in November 2007.
By applying the new UniPhier LSI to Diga-series video recorders, Panasonic achieved high-definition recording on a DVD disc thanks to on-the-fly compression.
Even though Panasonic’s chips are considerably less complex compared to Intel Corp.’s new quad-core processors produced using 45nm process technology in terms of transistor count, the fact that a company not focused on semiconductor development and manufacturing can be faster in terms of new process rollout compared to Intel Corp. seems to be untypical. Still, it is unlikely that Panasonic can produce a significant amount of 45nm chips given that Blu-ray disc recorders are hardly a mass product.