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National Semiconductor Debuts Industry’s First Video Decoder That Converts High-Definition Video to RGB Computer Video

Single Chip Uses Analog Technology To Increase Compatibility Between Different Video Standards and Formats

Aug 29, 2005

August 29, 2005 – National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today introduced the industry’s first decoder with an integrated 2:1 multiplexing (MUX) video switch that uses analog technology to accurately convert standard and high-definition video (YPbPr) signals to a computer video (RGB) format. The LMH1251 increases compatibility between different video standards and formats, allowing consumers to output video directly from DVD players, gaming devices and other devices to their personal computer monitors.

The LMH1251 also performs all the necessary sync processing to generate horizontal and vertical sync signals from standard (SD) and high-definition (HD) video formats. At IBC 2005 in Amsterdam from Sept. 9 to 13, National will demonstrate the unique multimedia features and accurate color space decoding of the LMH1251 in Hall 5, Stand #330 of the RAI Centre.

“Converting signals in the analog domain through National’s integrated, all-in-one decoder gets rid of all the complex external circuitry or additional chips you'd find in a digital solution,” said Erroll Dietz, vice president of National Semiconductor’s Amplifier products group.  “Instead, it offers manufacturers an easy way to add component video compatibility without the headaches and errors of current solutions.  The LMH1251 demonstrates National’s ability to provide advanced video solutions.”

Single-Chip Analog Conversion: Crisper Video Images
The LMH1251’s conversion process is done using analog technology via a color-space conversion matrix, eliminating multiple stages of digital implementations. The result is a cleaner, crisper, decoded video image that is superior to alternative approaches that use discrete components, digital products or field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).  

Discrete solutions using up to 20 components require design expertise, use more board space, consume more power and have inferior decoding quality.  Digital solutions and FPGAs are more expensive and typically offer more features than may be needed in a system. Compared to these alternatives, the analog design of the LMH1251 reduces undesired artifacts and provides a smaller form factor for easy integration.

Higher Accuracy, Higher Resolutions
National’s LMH1251 converts video to within 1 percent accuracy based on vector scope analysis, which exceeds the accuracy of current solutions on the market.  The device accepts one set of YPbPr inputs and one set of RGB/HSync/VSync inputs. Using the integrated 2:1 MUX and based on the input selected, the output will be either a decoded TV or buffered PC video signal. The LMH1251’s RGB path has 400 MHz of bandwidth, enabling it to accept up to 1600 by 1200 UXGA video resolutions.  The output displays the unaltered RGB video signal. 

The YPbPr video path has 70 MHz of bandwidth. It is equipped with a smart video detection circuit that automatically senses 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p video formats, applying the appropriate color-space conversion and outputting the video in a RGBHV format.  The LMH1251 eliminates the need for a microcontroller to choose the proper detection scheme and also saves board space by integrating all the necessary components: a sync processor, a 2:1 MUX and an analog color-space conversion matrix.

Pricing and Availability
Available now in a TSSOP-24 package, the LMH1251 is priced at $3.49 in 1,000-unit quantities.  Lead-free package options are also available.  For more information on the LMH1251 or to order samples and an evaluation board, visit http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LMH1251.html.  A large selection of amplifiers is supported by National’s Amplifiers Made SimpleSM WEBENCH® online design tool.  To explore these solutions, visit http://webench.national.com. To learn more about designing with amplifiers, visit our library of online seminars.

Supporting Video and Monitor Solutions
National’s analog technology can help video engineers differentiate their products.  In addition to its high-performance, high-speed amplifiers, National provides the key functions every system engineer requires in power management, data conversion, interface products, audio subsystems, display ICs and networking products.

About National’s Amplifier Portfolio
Specializing in high-performance amplifiers and comparators, National Semiconductor offers a complete portfolio of op amps ranging from building-block chips to application-specific standard products (ASSPs), including precision, high-speed, low-power and low-voltage amplifiers. The company has a long history of innovation in amplifiers, including the first low-voltage op amp and the “amp-in-a-mic.”  National also leads the industry in packaging technology with its revolutionary Silicon Dust™ and micro SMD packaging technologies.  For more information on National’s amplifier products, visit amplifiers.national.com.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-value analog devices and subsystems.  National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key analog markets include wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.91 billion for fiscal 2005, which ended May 29, 2005.  Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com.