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Fujitsu Introduces New IDB-1394-Compliant ICs Featuring Full Range of Embedded Multimedia Functions


Fujitsu Microelectronics America, Inc. (FMA) today announced the two new controller ICs – the MB88388A and MB88389 – that support the IDB-1394 standard for in-vehicle multimedia networks.

The MB88388A is the industry’s first device to support vehicle navigation imaging using the IDB-1394 standard. The controller implements the Fujitsu proprietary SmartCODEC, a video codec specified under the IDB-1394 international standard for in-vehicle video transmission. SmartCODEC, which was developed by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., can compress and decompress high-resolution video without perceptible latencies in two to three milliseconds, which is much faster than the video frame rate. By combining the MB88388A with the MB88389 IC for IDB-1394-compliant audio, it is possible to realize a high-quality, cost-effective, rear-seat entertainment system.

Both the MB88388A and the MB88389 ICs incorporate the physical layer (PHY) and link layer functions specified in the IDB-1394 standard, with support for 100/200/400 Mbps data transmission speeds. This single-chip implementation reduces the number of parts required. Both of the new devices also implement digital transmission content protection (DTCP) to prevent unauthorized duplication of digital content. Two streams can be simultaneously encrypted and decrypted.

IDB-1394 Network Expected to Move into Widespread Use

IDB-1394 is an international data networking standard for transmitting video, audio, and other multimedia data over a vehicle network. Various automobile manufacturers now view the standard as ideal for rear-seat entertainment systems that can play DVDs, show digital TV programs, and offer access to the car navigation system. Anticipating the future demand for rear-seat entertainment systems, Fujitsu and Fujitsu VLSI Limited co-developed the MB88388A navigation-imaging, video and audio transmission controller, and the MB88389 audio transmission controller based on the IDB-1394 standard.

The SmartCODEC codec for video is used in the BT.601 Transport over IEEE 1394 standard, a protocol for sending BT.601 video streams such as YUV and RGB over the IDB-1394 network. The codec enables video from DVD, digital TV, and navigation sources to move through the network while maintaining high-quality images at one third of the original image data size. Encoding occurs only within the SmartCODEC’s internal line memory, so external frame buffers are unnecessary.

Also, because IDB-1394 can be configured as a multiplexing network, multiple video and audio streams can be transmitted simultaneously over the same physical layer. As a result, the vehicle network can carry complex information over a single cable, reducing wiring-harness complexity and weight. The MB88389 controller can be integrated easily into the IDB-1394 network to reduce the cost of audio networking.

Fujitsu plans to expand its range of IDB-1394-compliant offerings to accommodate various types of multiple data transmission from peripheral vehicle cameras, while reducing system cost even further.

“We are pleased to see the first fully integrated IDB-1394 compliant LSI product from Fujitsu,” said Mark Spain, director of the Microsoft Automotive Business Unit of Microsoft Corporation. “We support this standard and plan to utilize it for the Microsoft Auto platform designed to create advanced in-vehicle infotainment systems. As digital experiences grow, software and services are expected to converge in the car, requiring standard platforms and enabling technologies like those from Microsoft and Fujitsu.”

Sample Pricing and Availability

The new MB88388A and MB83389 will be packaged in LQFPs and will be available beginning in December with sample prices starting at $17 and $12.80, respectively.


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