NEC's new chip design and manufacturing process is going to enable them to build processors small and efficient enough to decode video at resolutions comparable to HDTV on cell phones and other mobile devices. While we've covered versatile system-on-chip (SOC) processors making their way into set top boxes and Blu-ray players, NEC's system-in-package (SiP) SMAFTI (SMArt connection with Feed-Through Interposer) design uses a 3D to overcome conventional SiP hurdles and enable data transmission at up to 100Gbps. Apparently this "microbump connector" will move data around at 10 times the speed of existing technology, making your handheld much more powerful. Finally, we can expect devices using SMAFTI to begin appearing during the first quarter of 2007.

Since we're not electrical engineers, much of that is gibberish but the possibilities are so nice we can't even decide which rumor to start. High-def iPod? Microsoft's Zune/Xboy HDTV player on the go? Managed copy-enabled cell phones for your HD DVDs? Of course the most likely possibility is some cool Japan-only mobile phone (Chinese non-HD n930 pictured above), but does anyone else think HD resolution on a 3-inch screen might be overkill? (Nah, not us either.)

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NEC's 3D SiP processor enabling high-def playback on portable devices