Ambarella's Cortex A9-based iOne is the smartphone processor of your dreams... but it's for your camera

You may not have heard of Ambarella factoring into the smartphone processor race alongside Qualcomm, TI, and Samsung, and there's a good reason for that: they don't do smartphone processors. Rather, these guys are in the business of making video and photographic processing chips, and their latest -- the iOne -- is a doozy. Starting with a dual-core Cortex-A9 at 1GHz, the iOne adds in an extra ARM11 core at 533MHz dedicated to handling camera functions and ensuring ready times of under one second. It's capable of real-time encode and decode of H.264 1080p video content at 30fps and includes a GPU that can run OpenGL ES 2.0 for what we can only assume would be the wildest camera UI you've ever seen. What kind of beastly point-and-shoot is this, anyway? Well, Ambarella envisions cameras running Android before too long, and when you think about it, the hardware difference between a smartphone and a digital camera is getting smaller by the day -- so it would make sense that this iOne sounds so much like something we'd like to have powering our handsets. We can dream, can't we? Follow the break for the press release.

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Ambarella iOne Camera Applications Processor Enables a New Class of Android™-Based Smart Cameras

iOne combines triple ARM cores with advanced media DSPs for unprecedented still image and HD video quality

SANTA CLARA, CALIF – December 22, 2010 - Ambarella, Inc., a leader in low-power, high-definition video compression and image processing semiconductors, today announced the availability of the iOne System-on-Chip (SoC), bringing advanced HD camera and multimedia capabilities to the Android platform. By leveraging the fast growing Android ecosystem and cloud-based video services, the iOne will open the door for a new class of smart camera device capable of no compromise still photography, advanced HD video recording, Internet-connectivity, and running powerful applications. The iOne SoC's multi-stream encoding capability supports live video streaming, WiFi upload of video clips to popular websites such as YouTube™, and full HD telepresence applications. Its multi-format video decoding enables the playback of Internet and broadcast based video content up to 1080p60 resolution, including 3D HDTV. The iOne builds upon five generations of Ambarella DSP architectures and algorithms to produce high-resolution still images and HD video quality that rival the finest standalone DSC and camcorder products.

"Coupling our proven video and imaging processing expertise with the Android platform enables next generation cameras to take a significant leap forward in user experiences and capabilities," said Fermi Wang, Ambarella CEO. "The iOne will fundamentally change the way consumers capture, create and share visual content. We are very excited about the possibilities."

The iOne is based on a triple ARM CPU architecture specifically developed for low-power mobile media applications. Dual-core 1-GHz ARM CortexTM A9 CPUs provide the horsepower to run Android applications while a third 533-MHz ARM-11 handles real-time camera tasks and enables camera boot time of under one second. The iOne's unique architecture requires only a single x32 DRAM for extremely low power operation and low total system cost. A powerful 3D graphics engine supports HD GUI requirements and OpenGL ES 2.0.

iOne - key features for high quality visual content creation and sharing:

* Simultaneous still photography and HD video recording. Up to 32Mpixel still image processing with high speed capture of 5Mpixel images at 30 frames per second.
* High ISO capability with excellent low-light performance. Advanced noise reduction including MCTF (Motion-Compensated Temporal Filtering) for minimal motion blur.
* Dual stream encoding. Simultaneous encoding of a full HD 1080p30 stream and a second stream for uploading to the Internet or streaming over WiFi.
* Industry's first low power 1080p60 decoder capable of full 3D HD decoding on a mobile platform. Support for all leading video formats including H.264, MPEG-2, DivXTM and VC-1. Integrated HDMI 1.4 transmitter for 3D HDTV output and display.
* Full-duplex encode and decode of HD 1080p30 H.264 video for mobile HD telepresence applications.
* On-device HD video editing with hardware acceleration.
* Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) with CMOS sensor rolling shutter correction for capturing stable images even during motion.
* 3D photo and video capture. Combining the iOne with the Ambarella S3D pre-processor enables stereoscopic HD video and still image capture.
* Seamless connectivity support for WiFi (802.11n), GPS, Bluetooth, FM and Mobile TV.
* Extensive interfaces including dual CMOS sensor inputs (SLVDS/MIPI/HiSPiTM/parallel), Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, dual USB2.0, S/PDIF, transport stream and analog video out.

Pricing and Availability
The iOne SoC is sampling now to early access customers. Pricing information can be obtained directly from Ambarella at or by calling +1-408-734-8888.