At CES 2013, chip manufacturer Broadcom unveiled its plans for a new chip that can decode movies in 4K/Ultra HD resolution. The chip will make streaming in 4K resolution available on Smart TVs, streaming boxes and more in the coming years.
4K video chip announced
Sure, the new Ultra HD TVs also have 4K picture chips inside but Broadcomâ€™s new chip is pretty exciting as it does so much more. It is based on the ARM processor architecture which means that is has extremely low power consumption. It uses a quad-core construction that enables 4K streaming in Smart TVs, streaming boxes and even, in principle, tablets or smartphones.
This small chip will help to start the Ultra HD revolution next year
The chip is aimed at the Smart TV market; more specifically Smart TVs with Ultra HD resolutions. The chip supports MPEG4 (including profiles such as H.264) but it also supports the so-called HEVC format;also called H.265.
H.265 is a more effective compression format that can double video quality with the same bitrate or halve the bitrate and maintain the same level of picture quality compared to H.264. That is why H.265 is considered the format of choice when Ultra HD TVs hit the mainstream market. H.265 will improve both Full HD and enable Ultra HD picture quality.
The chip supports Ultra HD in up to 60 frames per second. The chip can also output four Full HD streams at the same time – to for example different screens in the home.
Broadcom's "Ultra HD chip" has been named BCM7445 and will enter mass production in the middle of 2014.