London, February 19, 2002 - Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe has launched the MB86293 “Coral”, the first device in its next generation family of Graphic Display Controllers, fabricated in 0.18 micron technology.
The new Coral device offers a 64-bit memory bus, an operating frequency of 200MHz - twice that of previous generation devices, support for six layers - compared with four for earlier controllers, a multiple geometry engine and enhanced video input facilities. Coral, which also provides enhanced display layer management functions, represents a major step forward in 2D/3D graphic controller performance. It is ideally suited for use in demanding multimedia automotive in-vehicle navigation and infotainment, and mobile appliance applications.
Coral is compatible with host CPU buses including Fujitsu FR, Hitachi SH3 and SH4 and NEC V83 without external glue logic. It is binary compatible with previous generation graphic display controllers, like the Cremson, Orchid and Scarlet devices.
The much higher internal frequency of 200MHz (400MHz for display dot clocks) enables the rendering engine of the device to achieve a 10-fold improvement in texture mapping and drawing image quality. The enhanced bandwidth allows a much greater rate of access for graphics elements, such as polygons, provides for the display of larger images and delivers improved scanning functions within the display controller.
Unlike previous generations of graphic controllers, Coral integrates a dedicated unit for texture mapping. This allows very complex scenes with many map images to be displayed with great clarity.
An enhancement to 2D drawing functions is the integration of a line depth display facility, which clearly defines the correct respective level of intersecting map lines. In previous devices, additional software was required to achieve this level of refinement. Enhanced hardware design also provides improvements in pattern line performance.
Shifting the numerical calculations required for displaying map data to the graphic device can greatly increase the performance of the embedded system. In this way, the processor does not have to calculate affine transformations for each graphic element to be rendered. The first member of the Coral family uses a freely programmable geometry engine incorporating three processors for simultaneous calculation of flexible graphic algorithms. These are coupled with the rendering engine for the actual rendering operation. The geometry engine supports model view projections, volume clipping, backface culling and viewport transformation operations as standard functions. With the new concept of programmable functions, users can extend these with their own algorithms.
The display controller is capable of accepting computer graphics signals in flexible resolutions from 320 x 200 pixels up to 1024 x 746 pixels (XGA). With less than six layers, higher resolutions can also be achieved. By assigning each layer with the picture size required, the six display layer concept is able to display simultaneous multiple high resolution pictures in different sizes in any part of the screen, not just as whole screen.
Coral’s high bandwidth also provides more powerful Alpha mapping, which enables alpha-blending, the process which allows each screen element to be viewed at different levels of transparency. Coral allows the assignment of 8 bits per pixel, enabling each pixel to be priority selected and mixed to control transparency to a much more defined degree. With previous generations of controller, it was only possible to assign 16 levels for a complete layer. This facility also enhances Bit BLT (Bit Block Transfer), which can now be combined with alpha-mapping.
Coral, which is able to address up to 64MB of external SDRAM or FCRAM memory, is capable of adjusting picture sizes to optimise the available memory space. Due to its highly sustained bandwidth, FCRAM is particularly suited for graphics/video generation at typical speeds of 133MHz.
The six display layer supports four different colour palettes, each of 256 colours, compared with just the two colour palettes available in previous controller families. All layers offer 24-bit and 16-bit resolution, direct colour or 8-bit resolution, indirect colour.
The external video input of Coral conforms to the RBT-ITU656 (YUV4:2:2 format) standard to allow video signals to be displayed together with generated graphics. The video input is capable of accepting, TV tuner, DVD player or camera signals in PAL or NTSC video formats. The video stream is read, modified and written to a video buffer memory completely independently from the display scanning process. Video pictures of diverse resolution and frame frequency rate, in either progressive or interlaced modes, are able to be grabbed, scaled and displayed picture-in-picture.
The latest consumer mobile appliance screens are increasing in size to achieve better readability and demand improved pictures to match DVD quality. In order to meet these demands, Coral integrates a new video input up-scaling facility, which now makes possible the display of high-resolution, full-screen mode multimedia pictures. Both up-scaling and down-scaling can be set independently in horizontal and vertical directions in pixel or line resolutions.
The power consumption of the device is approximately 1.5 W max at a 200MHz core operating frequency, making it particularly suited to mobile applications.
Housed in a choice of BGA or QFP packages, the MB86293, Coral Graphic Display Controller is capable of operating over the temperatures range -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C. Engineering samples of the device will be available during Q1CY2002.
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