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NEC Electronics Introduces MP201 Single-Chip Application Processor


Integrated Core Functions Enable Designers of Portable Multimedia Devices to Reduce Time to Market by Up to 50 Percent.

KAWASAKI, Japan, SANTA CLARA, Calif., DÜSSELDORF, Germany, July 19, 2006

NEC Electronics Corp. (TSE: 6723), a leading semiconductor solutions provider, and its subsidiaries in the United States and Europe, NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH, today introduced a single-chip application processor that integrates the core functions needed for the development of portable multimedia devices. Replacing as many as three discrete chips, the MP201 processor can be used in open platform development and features on-chip video and audio data processors, integrated memory and peripheral interfaces. Using the device, system developers can achieve fast time to market for rich multimedia applications.

The first in a series of planned application processors from NEC Electronics, the MP201 provides a comprehensive solution to designers faced with the challenge of having to develop portable devices with escalating requirements. By optimizing the hardware architecture of the new chip and developing new technology to suppress the effects of power supply noise on other circuits, NEC Electronics was able to integrate core functions in a single 14-millimeter (mm) square package that will result in smaller form factors for portable devices that house the chip. The chip is the result of joint development with Ricoh Co., Ltd.

The MP201 has an integrated high-performance digital signal processor (DSP) that can display 30 frames per second (FPS) of quarter video graphics array (QVGA) video compressed with the industry-standard H.264 digital video codec and about 30 FPS of 480 x 480 MPEG-4-compressed video. This capability allows device manufacturers to support the latest digital music formats, including formats for delivering terrestrial digital video content to portable handsets.

Memory and peripheral interfaces include a USB 2.0 interface, an industry-standard Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) interface for hard disk connections, an input interface for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation to support terrestrial digital broadcasting and interfaces to error correction code (ECC), NAND flash memory, cameras, liquid crystal displays and memory cards.

Integrated power control functions eliminate the problem of electromagnetic noise, while three clock signal control modes and seven operating control modes allow power consumption to be adjusted according to the operating status of the device. Combined with the low-power DSP, these control functions enable portable devices implemented with the MP201 to consume only about half the power of current models.

By eliminating the need to procure and tune discrete chips to handle the complex power management tasks and USB 2.0 functions required by video players, the MP201 can significantly reduce the burden on system designers. In optimum cases, design lead times can be reduced by up to 50 percent.

The MP201 will be offered as one of NEC Electronics’ platformOViATM solutions, which allow device manufacturers to leverage their investments in existing software resources. The platformOViA environment is an embedded software deployment and reuse platform that includes operating systems, device drivers and other basic software components that work with a wide range of compliant chips. Because the upper layers of the interface are hardware independent, developers of multimedia products can reuse existing software, for example software originally created for consumer electronics devices or car information systems. It is also possible for developers to plug in middleware components from partner companies.

Competition in the portable media player market is intensifying as consumer demand for sophisticated digital audio and video entertainment continues to grow. Shorter product life cycles, greater cost pressures and higher demand for advanced functions are forcing manufacturers to concentrate resources on the features that make their products unique. Having the functionality of three integrated circuits incorporated in one package enables designers to streamline device architectures, accelerate development schedules and reduce board space by approximately 15 percent. For further efficiency, device manufacturers have the option to reuse existing software resources and, as a result, focus on bringing strategic products to market quickly.

Pricing and Availability
Sample quantities of the MP201 will be available September 2006, priced at US$30. Volume production will begin by March 2007 and is expected to reach one million units per month within one year.

About NEC Electronics

NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets, system solutions for the mobile handsets, PC peripherals, automotive and digital consumer markets, and multi-market solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has 26 subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. ( and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH ( For additional information about NEC Electronics worldwide, visit

NEC Electronics is either a registered trademark or trademark of NEC Electronics Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other registered trademarks or trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications is current on the date of the press announcement, but is subject to change without prior notice.


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