Motorola Inc’s Semiconductor Products Sector division has launched the first of what it says will be a new line off-the- shelf multimedia chips. The Scorpion, or MC92100, is a new embedded processor designed for use in Internet-enabled televisions, and are part of Motorola’s PowerPC 800 series of embedded processors. It is a graphical and digital video encoder chip that enables digital information to be superimposed onto television signals. Using the chip, which is both NTSC and PAL compatible, interactive devices will be able to display normal video streamed television with multiple windows overlaid containing internet services. The Scorpian chip can also be used in set-top boxes and DVD Digital Versatile Disk players, and has a standard ITU-R-656 input for MPEG-2, DVD and other digital video sources, which potentially enables uses in digital television decoders. Scorpion uses a glueless interface with an external processor and a direct interface with external synchronous dynamic RAM. It currently works only with Motorola’s own ColdFire or PowerPC processors, though the company says it will be adding support for further chips over the coming year. Scorpion is said to be the first of a general purpose line of off-the-shelf multimedia chips which will enable the construction off multiple hardware platforms. The 800 series is supported by a number of embedded operating systems, including Microware System Corp’s OS-9, Wind River Systems Inc’s VXWorks, Integrated Systems Inc’s pSOS and Microsoft Corp’s Windows CE. Motorola is also planning to introduce a set-top box of its own using the chip and said it would making significant further announcements in this area, within the next few weeks. Pricing for the MC92100 will be $20 per unit in quantities of 50,000, and it is currently available for sampling.
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