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Multimedia processor plays H.264 video

Nov 18, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 17 views

Texas Instruments (TI) is accepting orders for a Linux-ready DaVinci multimedia SoC (system-on-chip) targeting digital photo frames, IP network cameras, and low-cost digital video recorders. The Ethernet-equipped TMS320DM357 has a 270MHz ARM9 core, and a DSP core supplied with royalty-free codecs for H.264 (D1 resolution), MPEG-4, JPEG, and G.711.

The TMS320DM357 (DM357) resembles TI's sub-$10 TMS320DM355 SoC, which began sampling a little over a year ago. The DM357 uses the same ARM926EJ-S core clocked to 270MHz, and offers the same basic design, but adds H.264 compression, an Ethernet Media Access Controller (EMAC), and DDR2 memory controller, in the process more than doubling the price to $21 in volume.

TMS320DM357 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Like the DM355, the DM357 offers a co-processor to accelerate video processing, as well as an integrated video processing subsystem, says the company. The 10/100 EMAC helps developers reduce bill of material (BOM) costs, says TI. Other peripherals include high-speed USB 2.0 On-The-Go and DDR2, and the DM357 is also said to provide a host port interface, and three video digital-to-analog converters.

The supplied H.264 codec is touted as offering D1 resolution, while the MPEG-4 codec is said to deliver 30fps video per channel. The JPEG codec, meanwhile, is touted as providing 50-megapixels per second processing performance. None of the included codecs require licensing fees or royalties to TI, there by further reducing BOM costs, says the company.

The $900 DVEVM Digital Video Evaluation Module (DVEVM) provided for the SoC includes the DM357 and codecs, as well as video and audio I/O, an external EMAC, USB 2.0 On-The-Go, and JTAG, says TI. The board incorporates a board support package (BSP) that is similar the one that is provided for the DM555, and includes MontaVista Linux (2.6.18 kernel), U-boot, and related drivers.

TI/Aptina camera reference design
based on earlier DM355

(Click for details)

Earlier this year, TI and Micron's Aptina imaging division announced an ultra-low-cost WXGA IP surveillance camera reference design (pictured) based on the earlier DM355.

Stated Jacob Alamat, TI's product marketing manager for digital media processors, “Now integrated with H.264, embedded EMAC, DDR2 and other system peripherals, the DM357 is yet another offering from TI that allows developers to add functionality and value to their digital video solutions at minimal cost.”


The TMS320DM357 is now open for order entry, priced at $21.22 in 100 unit volume, and the TMDSEVM357 DVEVM is also open for order at a cost of $900. Codecs will be available for download in mid-December, says TI. More information on the DM357 may be available here, and more on the DVEVM may be found here.

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