Ambarella Unveils Industry’s First Single-Chip 1080p60 “Full HD” Broadcast Encoder Platform
Santa Clara, California

Ambarella, Inc., the leader in high-definition (HD) video compression semiconductors, today announced a new video CODEC chip targeting the broadcast market. The Ambarella Ambacast™ 3000 processor more than doubles the computing power of its predecessors and can be programmed for increased video quality as well as encoding full 1080×1920 resolution HD at 60 frames per second in a single chip. The platform enables the design of broadcast encoders to increase picture quality, while the low power and high integration allows a reduced form factor and power consumption. 

1080p60 “Full Resolution Non-interlaced Video”

Over 80 percent of TVs sold today in North America, Europe and Japan are flat TVs with progressive 60p displays, and many of them are capable of 1920×1080 (full high-definition). However the majority of the broadcast is interlaced video, so the incoming interlaced signal must be processed by the TV (de-interlacing) prior to display. This results in a lack of sharpness and motion artifacts.

Moving to a progressive 1080p format at frame rates of 50 fps in Europe and 60 fps in North America and Japan simply means that the broadcast industry is catching up to the advances in consumer displays and is ready to offer to the consumer the increase in sharpness and smoothness of motion that only a truly progressive format can deliver. This is most important for sport content.

AmbaCast™ 3000 Increases Video Quality 

The Ambarella AmbaCast™ 3000 processor has dedicated power to support an increased video quality supporting larger motion vector range and support for an increased number of reference pictures at the highest resolution. It also supports an additional number of coding tools to optimize bit allocation at all resolutions.

The Ambarella AmbaCast™ 3000 processor can accept uncompressed video at rates exceeding 3Gbits per second and can produce compliant H.264 Main and high-profile streams at bit rates as low as 4 Mbps for 720p 60 and 1080i 60 and as low as 6Mbps for 1080p60.

The Ambacast™3000 can also function as a decoder. 

Motion Compensated Noise Reduction

The Ambacast™3000 processor incorporates a spatio-temporal three-dimensional noise filter with full-range motion compensation operating on all video formats including 1080p60. This filter can reduce the impact of noise on compression without the unpleasant side effects associated with aggressive temporal filtering.

The Ambarella AmbaCast™ is currently sampling at selected customers. Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ:HLIT), a leading provider of digital video and broadband access solutions to cable, satellite, telecom and terrestrial operators worldwide, has selected the Ambarella AmbaCast™3000 for its next-generation HD H.264 encoder product line. 

“Ambarella and Harmonic have a close working relationship with a proven track record of excellence,” said Jean-Christophe Morizur, director of product marketing at Harmonic, Inc. “The Ambarella AmbaCast™3000 processor allows greater programming flexibility and increased image quality in addition to enabling full HD 1080p60/50 functionality. Cable, satellite and IPTV operators can use Harmonic’s advanced HD H.264 compression technology to offer value-added premium 1080p HD services at broadcast quality for linear and non-linear applications, thereby enabling new revenue opportunities and increasing customer satisfaction.” 

“We are excited to introduce the industry’s first single-chip HD 1080p60 video CODEC solution,” said Didier LeGall, executive vice-president of Ambarella. “The adoption of our solution by Harmonic, a top-tier equipment provider to the broadcast equipment market validates the technological and innovative solutions from Ambarella.” 

Pricing and availability
The Ambarella Ambacast™3000 broadcast infrastructure product is currently sampling at selected customers. Pricing information can be obtained from Ambarella.