On February 4, 2009, NEC Electronics announced its low-power application specific standard product (ASSP) based on the company’s single frame super resolution technology, part number uPD9245GJ. What does this ASSP do? The uPD9245GJ “sharpens out-of-focuse images, smoothes rough edges, refines contours by analyzing and processing information contained in one frame of data in real time.” Put it a different way the super resolution technology-based ASSP “reduces the blurring that occurs when low-resolution images are expanded and displayed in high-resolution.” You can watch a video explaining the technology by clicking on this link.
What is it for? The ASSP can be integrated into anything that handles video such consumer, industrial, medical and automotive devices. NEC is quite positive about this ASSP and expects US$110 million in sales by 2010.
What does it solve? The uPD9245GJ solves the problem of having low-resolution pictures and videos and trying to display that on high-resolution displays.
What’s Super Resolution Technology? Let’s talk about what it is not: old image resolution technologies required multi-frame techniques to process image data. This requires an enormous amount of memory and processing power to process in real-time. Super resolution technology requires just a single frame of image data that reduce memory and processor requirements. Dramatically. Another benefit is the low cost of implementing NEC’s ASSP.
What specifically can NEC’s ASSP do? If you have a video with a 320 x 240 pixel format the ASSP can expand it to 800 x 480 without any adverse effects on video quality–actually making it better. The ASSP can also boost 640 x 480 formatted video all the way up to 1920 x 1080. What that means is that standard definition (SD) TV broadcasts will no longer look terrible on your brand new 1080p-capable LCD or plasma TV. Imagine taking 320 x 240 video on a compact digital camera and watching it on a huge 55″ LCD TV: without any super resolution technology applied to that video the experience will be quite unsatisfactory. Apply NEC’s ASSP and you get crisp 1080p HD content. Magic.
So how much is this going to cost? The uPD945GJ ASSP will be US$10 in quantities of 1000 pieces. Need less than 1000 pieces? The price jumps to US$30 each. NEC also has a small 4 x 2″ evaluation board that includes the ASSP, NEC’s 78K0/KE2 micro-controller, a DVI-D video interface, an I2C slave interface and an USB connector.