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Linux SDK supports mobile multimedia SoC

Nov 14, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

3DLabs Semiconductor has started shipping a Linux SDK (software development kit) for its interesting multi-core mobile applications processor. The fabless chipmaker's Linux 2.6.21 SDK includes tools, codecs, libraries, and sample apps, and aims to help DMS-02 customers build mobile video, automotive infotainment,… videoconferencing, and surveillance devices.

3DLabs began sampling the DMS-02 last December, claiming it was the first handheld digital media processor to render H.264-compressed high-definition 720p video. The 130nm-process system-on-chip (SoC) combines a pair of ARM9-EJ cores with three arrays of general-purpose FPUs (floating-point units), each with eight 100MHz processing elements.

DMS-02 function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

According to 3DLabs, the DMS-02 also is equipped with multi-level caches, three bi-directional video ports, and 32- or 64-bit mobile memory for up to 1.6 GBytes/s bandwidth. The processor is said to support GPS and offers peripheral interfaces to LCD panels, CMOS sensors, IDE disks, USB OTG, flash memory, and audio DACs.


Previously, Linux developers wrote ARM code for the DMS-02 using 3DLabs optimization libraries, or else worked with its Array Development Kit (ADK) to extend the libraries. The new SDK is said to offer DMS-specific development tools, along with “production-ready” applications, CODECs, and libraries.

Specific offerings of the DMS-02 SDK include:

  • Media decoders/encoders, including H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Microsoft WMV, WMA and VC1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AAC, MP3, Dolby Digital (AC-3), G.276, Ogg Vobis, Xvid, DivX X, JPEG, and MJPEG
  • Media player and framework
  • Photo browser
  • 2D/3D libraries including OpenGL ES 1.1, DirectFB and support for GTK+
  • Imaging and camera processing pipeline
  • Compute library
  • GUI toolkit
  • Access to pre-ported applications including Opera browser, messenger client, video conferencing, and games such as Sudoku
  • GCC 4.x Compiler and file system support including iffs2, vaffs, and ext2

Launched in 1994 as a graphics chipset and video card vendor, 3DLabs was acquired by Creative Technology Ltd. in 2002. With the DMS-02, Creative is refocusing the subsidiary on mobile media applications — and embedded Linux.

Stated Tim Lewis, 3DLabs director of marketing, “Many of our global customers are looking for an open source solution and need it to be compact, feature rich and production ready so that they can get their products to market quickly and efficiently.”


The Linux-based DMS-02 SDK is available immediately, along with a Hardware Platform with the 2.6.21 Linux implementation pre-loaded. Pricing was not available. 3DLabs also plans to release some Linux-based reference designs, starting with a PMP (portable media player).

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