ROHM's BU1521GVW Upscaler IC for Portable AV

Equipment - High Image Quality in the Industry's Smallest Package

(PresseBox) ( Willich-Münchheide/Germany, )
Semiconductor manufacturer ROHM Co., Ltd. has announced the development of an upscaler IC for portable AV equipment. The BU1521GVW upconverts SDTV (4:3) image signals to HDTV (1080p max. 16:9) format.

With the increasing trend towards the digitization of media comes a need to transition the video format from conventional SD (NTSC/PAL) to HD (1080p). In order to change to HD format without increasing the physical size of conventional sets it is necessary to resize the image using a scaler IC. Most of the scaler ICs commonly used today often have built-in frame memory to achieve high image quality, are in the 100-pin class or higher, and integrate large-scale circuitry. As a consequence, they are only offered in large package sizes, making them ill-suited for portable devices where compactness is key and system design requires much work. Although compact upscaler ICs are available, the results were less than ideal. Models that did not use frame memory for greater miniaturization and simplicity and instead superimposed IP conversion processing often resulted in jagged edges. Even units that utilized frame memory experienced comb noise or comb-like lines when rendering high-speed sequences. Both methods resulted in less than ideal picture quality.

ROHM developed a unique arithmetic algorithm solution that enables high image quality without using frame memory while maintaining a compact size. This new product is capable of upscaling images to HD size by simply inserting it in the pre-stage section of the HDMI output block in existing systems.

The BU1521GVW is available in the SBGA063W060 package (6mm×6mm×0.9mm, 0.65mm ball pitch BGA), making it among the smallest in the industry. Mounting area is reduced by approximately 81% and the number of pins by 30% compared to conventional large package units. In addition to 1080p compatibility, an IP conversion circuit is built-in along with multiple image filters, making it ideal for portable devices requiring greater functionality.

Availability: Samples and OEM quantities are available.

Main features of the BU1521GVW:

- No frame memory required
- Compatible with NTSC/PAL iput formats (ITUR-BT 656, YCbCr=4:2:2 8bit)
- Output formats support up to 1080p (SMPTE274, YCbCr=4:2:2 16bit)
- Built-in IP conversion function (converts interlaced to progressive)
- Upscale function:

Horizontal: 720/1920 pixels

Vertical: 480/576/540/1080 pixels
- Integrated filter function (5×5) data input (filter coefficient can be configured in the register)
- Register accessible via SPI interface (register read/write via 3-wire serial interface)
- Built-in PLL (input frequency: 27MHz)
- Output frequencies: 27MHz, 74MHz, 74.175824MHz, 148.5MHz, 148.351648MHz
- Compact package designed for portables: SBGA063W060 (6mm×6mm×0.9mm, BGA 0.65mm ball pitch)

Explanation of Terminology

- NTSC/PAL system
- SD (Standard Definition), HD (High Definition) Terms used to describe the resolution of image signals.

SD TV format standards. NTSC is mainly used in Japan and the US, while PAL is commonly used in Europe and China.

- IP conversion function A function that converts NTSC/PAL interlaced images to 480p/576p progressive images.
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