| Toshiba Introduces LSI Chip-Set for DVD Video Player
19 September, 1996
The chip set consists of three basic elements and the 16-bit CPU which controls the signal flow of the overall circuit system. The two chips in the pick-up unit detect the optical signal reflected from the disc and convert it to an electrical signal. The physical block consists of four chips which control the driver unit and pick up head, and undertake signal amplification and processing to remove errors and assure correct data reproduction. The logical block consists of five chips. They take the digital signal and break it down into its component elements: the video image signal is separated and decoded by an MPEG2 decoder, and sub- picture signals, such as captions, and audio signals are also separated for decoding. (Decoding of the audio signal in the Dolby AC-3 format is done by an optional audio signal decoder chip available from Zoran Inc. of the U.S.). The video signals are encoded as NTSC signals and output as analogue signals, while audio signals can be output as both analog and digital signals.
The chip set plays back all four DVD disc formats: the basic single-sided single-layer 4.7 gigabyte DVD disc and the single-sided dual-layer disc (8.5GB), the double-sided single-layer disc (9.4 GB), and the double-sided dual-layer disc (17GB) that will be introduced in future. The versatility of the new chip-set assures backward compatibility with standard audio CDsAand addition of a further CD-ROM decoder chip will also allow support for playback of CD-ROMs.
The chip set fully supports the wide-ranging technological innovations and features characterizing DVD, a device which packs data at a volume exceeding CD-ROM by a factor of seven. Advanced features of DVDs include MPEG2- level decoding of moving images with a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels, high-level interactivity based on seamless replay of data that is dispersed throughout the disc on which it is stored. (Such interactive applications will include movies with multiple endings and sports videos offering a choice of viewing angle and the ability to call up player profiles.)
Toshiba's LSI chip-set realizes complex signal and data processing, and precise control of mechanical parts, including the drive and pick-up unit assuring highly reliable operation and realizing high quality picture and sound.
Toshiba's success in developing the chip-set rests on close cooperation between the Semiconductor Group and the company's DVD Products Division. One capability that particularly contributed to the chip-set development was the availability of a real time MPEG2 encoding system developed at the company's R&D. This allowed engineers to produce many kinds of MPEG2-encoded DVD data with which to test the functionality of the chips, so assuring high reliability.
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