Hitachi has developed a new mobile phone chip that nearly quintuples image-processing speeds, making video game characters and scenary move faster and smoother.
The chip is for cell phones incorporating Java technology, which is used to move animated images. Video-processing capabilities will be enhanced when the chip is integrated with image processing chips for cell phones.
The major electronics manufacturer has achieved the faster speed by having circuitry handle the work previously done by software.
Cell phones have been able to process just 10 frames per second until now, but Hitachi’s new chip will enable a cell phone to display 46 frames per second — a level comparable to that of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc’s PlayStation 2 console, according to Hitachi.
The new chip will also reduce power consumption by up to 90%, enabling cell phone users to play much longer without recharging.
Game companies are scrambling to strengthen their lines of products for play on cell phones, enabling users to enjoy titles previously playable on home-use game consoles, including such megahits as the “Dragon Quest” and “Final Fantasy” games. The number of people who use cell phones as game machines is projected to grow.
Hitachi plans to sell its new chip by integrating it with image-processing chips for mobile phones. It aims to have the product adopted by NTT DoCoMo Inc’s FOMA service, which allows high-speed data communications.