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ARM chip converts video to 3D on the fly

Jan 11, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Quartics Inc. used last week's CES (Consumer Electronics Show) to show off a VPU (video processing unit) claimed to improve video quality on the fly and do real-time conversion to 3D. The Windows-ready QV1721 targets netbooks, laptops, and other PCs, and includes an on-chip ARM926EJ processor, the company says.

Quartics' QV1721 competes with other video acceleration solutions such as Nvidia's recently confirmed Ion 2 and Broadcom's BCM70015. Like these products, it's said to work with Intel's recently released "Pine Trail" Atom N450, D410, and D510, taking the burden of video decoding off the CPU and supporting" all the industry standard video codecs such as H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2 … up to full 1080p HD resolution."

However, the QV1721 chip (right), said to be produced using a 130nm production process, goes further than the Nvidia and Broadcom devices by including an onboard ARM926EJ application processor and a transport stream multiplexer/demultiplexer. As a result, claims Quartics, the device can up-sample SD video to look like HD video, adding detail on the fly. The process reportedly works not only on video already stored on disk, but also for video streamed from online sources such as YouTube (below) and with videoconferencing.

Video enhancement provided by the QV1721
(standard image on left; processed image on right)

Source: Quartics
(Click to enlarge)

3D doesn't excite us, but what's not to like about real-time video enhancement?

In addition, promises Quartics, the chip can also process 2D video so that it looks like 3D, using DDD's TriDef 3D software. The technology, already adopted by Acer, will operate with a variety of 3D technologies, such as either passive polarized or active shutter glasses, the company promises.

Quartics did not specify the QV1721's power consumption, but promised that complete solutions using the chip will be available with TDPs of under ten watts and offer "extended battery life." The chip includes proprietary algorithms for noise reduction, color correction and enhancement, image sharpening, deinterlacing, denoising, and scaling, the company adds.


According to Quartics, the QV1721 currently supports only Windows XP and Windows 7, but a Laptop blog entry by Dana Wollman, here, claims that Google's Linux-based Chrome OS will also be supported in future. The blog offers a positive first impression of the Quartics technology.

For a review of the Acer Aspire 5738DG laptop, which already uses the DDD TriDef technology (though apparently not with the Quartics VPU), see PC, here, and Laptop, here.

For further information on the QV1721, said to be available now for an unannounced price in "volume production quantities," see the Quartics website here.

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