Semiconductor giant Broadcom has announced its next generation multimedia microprocessor, the BCM2763 VideoCore IV, which will be equipping high end handsets and portable devices in 2011.
The specifications of this chip are undoubtedly impressive; build using a 40nm manufacturing process, it will allow future mobiles phone to offer the possibility of taking 20-megapixel pictures and will come with features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode (ed: hopefully the image quality will also improve).
In comparison, Sony Ericsson and Samsung have managed to produce smartphone with 12-megapixel camera although it looks that quality, rather than the number of pixel is where the fight will have to take place.
In addition, consumers will also be able to record pictures at full HD 1080p resolution; currently smartphones like the iPhone 3GS can only record at VGA quality which is equivalent to DVD content.
If that was not enough, Broadcom is expecting mobile games to be played on these smartphones and displayed at "up to 1080p" (that's a whopping 1920x1080 pixels) on a large screen thanks to an board HDMI output (ed: no wireless HDMI here?). It can also encode footage at this resolution in the ubiquitous H264 format.
Broadcom claims that a more advanced manufacturing process has slashed the power consumption of the VideoCore IV by up to half when compared to prior generations.
This means up to six hours worth of 1080p video recording, up to 10 hours of mobile playback (on the phone's display) and a staggering 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI (connected to an external screen).
Broadcom quotes up to one gigapixel per second fill rates and an improved graphics performance of up to six times compared ot the old Videocore 3. This is equivalent to a Geforce FX5200 which, by 2011, will be an eight year old technology.