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Renesas Electronics Releases HEVC/H.265 Video Codec Hardware IP as Part of Expansion of Licensing Business

TOKYO, Japan, October 29, 2013 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) today announced the development of video codec intellectual property (IP) technology supporting the latest video encoding standard, HEVC/H.265 (Note 1), which is expected to be adopted in a wide range of markets, including mobile devices, consumer devices, vehicle information systems, and industrial equipment. As its second offering in the licensing business, sales of the new IP will start in November of this year, and plans call for its implementation in the third generation (currently under development) of the Renesas R-Car series of system on a chip (SoC) products for vehicle information systems.

Renesas supports the varied requirements of customers developing new systems and provides enhanced development efficiency with microcontrollers boasting the No. 1 market share worldwide as well as analog and power devices. Renesas has been moving away from a business model in which products in the above categories are supplied separately to a model based on kit solutions, in which individual semiconductor products are bundled with software, and on platform solutions and an associated ecosystem (Note 2) comprising varied IP technology that enables customers to provide added value to their own products; semiconductor foundations such as process technology; and bundled software such as OSes and middleware. Renesas considers platform solutions to be a key component in realizing the “smart society” of the future and has been working to build an ecosystem comprising semiconductor foundations, software, and collaboration with partner companies. Moving forward, Renesas believes it is essential to bring competitive IP technologies to market as soon as possible so that they can become established as industry standards. With this in mind, Renesas is working to enrich its IP portfolio while at the same time expanding the licensing business through which it supplies IP technology to the market.

In recent years, digital video devices combining high performance and Internet connectivity have achieved widespread adoption, and this has caused an explosive increase in the amount of video data transferred over broadband infrastructure. At the same time, there is increasing demand for peer-to-peer (Note 3) video transfer employing data compression and decompression for transferring video and sharing screens between devices. Also, the popularity of high-resolution content for ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV) products with 4K2K displays, etc., is starting to impose a severe strain on the bandwidth of broadband networks as well as home and vehicle networks. This has made high-compression encoding superior to that of existing technologies essential for implementing video transfer applications moving forward. In response to this need, Renesas has developed and commercialized hardware IP that implements 4K2K video processing with support for the new HEVC/H.265 high-efficiency encoding standard recommended by ITU-T in April 2013.

Key features of the new hardware IP:

  • (1) Support for encoding and decoding using the new HEVC/H.265 video encoding standard

    Renesas is among the first to market with a video codec for mobile and consumer devices with support for the HEVC/H.265 encoding standard. A newly developed algorithm that extracts to the utmost the highly efficient encoding performance of HEVC/H.265 makes it possible to achieve high-picture-quality, high-compression encoding superior to that of existing encoding formats when performing real-time processing. By using the new IP, customers can provide support for the new HEVC/H.265 video encoding standard, which is expected to achieve adoption in a wide range of markets, including mobile devices, consumer devices, vehicle information systems, and industrial equipment. This will enable extended-duration, high-picture-quality video recording and playback performance superior to that of existing formats such as H.264.
  • (2) Support for 4K2K images

    The new hardware IP achieves 4K2K resolution (4096 × 2160) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second, encoding and decoding performance double that of the previous Renesas hardware IP. Highly efficient HEVC/H.265 encoding delivers the video impact of 4K2K resolution with data volume and communication bandwidth equivalent to that of the earlier Full HD resolution (1920 × 1080) at 60 frames per second (1080p60). It is also possible to perform processing of two 1080p60 channels simultaneously. This means the customer can use a single hardware IP product to implement applications requiring encoding and decoding of multiple video streams at the same time, such as Full HD video transcoding or video chat.
    The new IP has a configurable structure, and it can be supplied on small-scale hardware optimized for 1080p60 performance.
  • (3) Minimal processing latency of as little as 3 ms

    Data processing has been optimized to reduce the latency from the point at which data input starts to the point when the corresponding output starts to as little as 3 ms. This facilitates the development of applications requiring transfer with minimal latency of video data that is compressed in real time, such as transferring the screen display from a mobile device to another display device or wirelessly transferring video to a rear-seat display from a vehicle entertainment system, such as a navigation system with AV media playback capacity.

In addition, Renesas is utilizing small-area, power-saving technology and technology enabling highly efficient bus access and tolerance for bus latency, both accumulated in the development of Renesas SoC products for mobile devices and vehicle information systems, with the AMBA® (Note 4) interface used to connect the new IP.

Renesas expects the new IP to occupy a key position in the next generation of video processing and plans to actively promote sales in a wide range of markets, including mobile devices, consumer devices, vehicle information systems, and industrial equipment. Future plans include performance improvements to enable higher resolutions and higher bit rates as well as multi-standard support covering existing video encoding formats. In addition, Renesas will continue to develop IP technologies specialized for real-time video transfer, etc., and make them available in a timely manner in response to evolving market demand.

Refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of the new hardware IP.

  • (Note 1) HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding): A video encoding standard established jointly by ISO/IEC MPEG and ITU-T VCEG. ISO/IEC and ITU-T have designated the new standard as 23008-2 (MPEG-H HEVC) and the H.265 international standard, respectively.
  • (Note 2) Ecosystem: A combination of development environment tools leveraging the same CPU architecture, such as OSes, compilers, and debuggers, and the associated aggregation of developers, solution providers, and others who collectively form a major business. Applying the term “ecosystem” to the IT business expresses the notion of similarity with an ecosystem in nature.
  • (Note 3) Peer-to-peer: A communication method in which data is transmitted and received directly between devices on the network.
  • (Note 4) AMBA: An on-chip bus interface developed by ARM Ltd. of the U.K.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world's number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in approximately 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.renesas.com.

(Remarks) AMBA is a trademark of ARM Ltd. Other product and service names that appear in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.


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