High-definition content is driving the need for high performance in today’s consumer electronics. Digital TVs, set-top boxes, video players and even mobile phones now require support for streaming video. Delivering this functionality at consumer price points is placing high demands on system architecture and silicon design. This article discusses the architectural trends and system bandwidth requirements for high-definition consumer devices.

The article also analyzes a representative chip architecture that combines video codecs for real-time video processing, programmable ARM11 family or ARM Cortex-A8 processors to run sophisticated operating systems, Internet and application software, and ARM Mali200 graphics processors interconnected through an AMBA 3 AXI interconnect fabric. The analysis identifies key
architecture and memory trade-offs and compares XDR memory with other alternatives, such as DDR2/3 memory.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 7, No. 2, 2008