Panasonic's 1.4 GHz dual-core Smart TV chip is industry's fastest, should load Netflix quicker

The next step for Panasonic's UniPhier family of processors for HDTVs and Blu-ray players has been unveiled, taking form as a 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A9 based design that it claims is the industry's fastest for TVs. The MN2WS0220 will begin sample shipments this month and it can handle two HDTV streams, plus internet content and smart TV apps all at once while cutting power consumption from the previous generation by 40%. This follows in the footsteps of Toshiba's Cell-based CEVO TV processors that also bring multiple cores and high speed memory to bear. The other question of course is backwards compatibility, while some of the new Viera Connect apps for 2011 were also compatible with 2010 HDTVs, it'll be interesting to see if Panasonic's platform can take advantage of the new chip without making televisions that are currently on shelves obsolete, or if it considers joining forces with the Google TV cadre for apps like SlingPlayer and OnLive.

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Panasonic Develops New UniPhier®*1 System LSI for Smart TVs with Industry's Fastest CPU*2

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation has developed a new UniPhier®*1 system LSI (MN2WS0220) for smart TVs and will begin sample shipments in June 2011.

To improve performance and user interface, smart TVs require powerful software processing capability as they support various applications on the Internet. Achieving these improvements has called for a system LSI that has both a high quality AV processor and a high speed CPU on a single chip.

Panasonic's new chip will open the way for a new generation of smart TVs that allow users to simultaneously enjoy two TV broadcasting channels, as well as Internet-based content and applications in high-resolution at the same time. In addition, the new chip is able to reduce power consumption of and the number of components used in smart TVs, which will help drive smart TVs to spread in the global market.
The chip includes the following features:

The new system LSI adopts a new architecture comprising of Panasonic's UniPhier®*1 processor with a proven track record in high quality processing of audio and visual content and a general-purpose high speed dual CPU which has high performance for network applications to realize a high performance and high resolution Smart TVs.
Adopting the industry's fastest*2 1.4-GHz dual core CPU (ARM®*3 Cortex-A9TM*3 Dual), it can achieve fast, stress-free and smooth operation in network applications.
A high-performance 3D graphics circuit supporting full HD resolution is essential for smart TVs. Integrating such a 3D graphics circuit and audio and video codec, the new system LSI has all the functions required for smart TVs on a single chip. As a result, it enables to deliver exciting images by combining graphics and video. Further, the new chip enables to cut power consumption by about 40%*4.

The following technologies have made this chip possible:

UniPhier®*1 new architectures, which enables parallel, simultaneous operation of the UniPhier®*1 processor's TV signal processing that is in real time treatable of AV contents and the dual-core CPU's handling of wide range open-source software.
Circuit design technology for high-speed processors, enabling implementation of a dual-core CPU and high-capacity cache memory, as well as operation at 1.4-GHz clock frequency.
One-chip system LSI integration technology that combines UniPhier®*1 processor and high speed dual-core CPU, high-performance 3D graphics circuitry with unified memory architecture which achieving efficient data transfers between shared external memory.

*1 "UniPhier" is a registered trademark of Panasonic Corporation.
*2 Fastest in TV system LSI, containing digital demodulators, etc. Based on Panasonic's data as of June 7, 2011.
*3 "ARM" and "Cortex" are a registered trademark or trademark of ARM Limited (UK).
*4 Compared to prior Panasonic chips.