AMD intros portable multimedia processor, partners with TivoToGo

Sunnyvale (CA) - AMD today announced the Alchemy Au1200 processor which targets portable multimedia players to store, manage and play fresh multimedia content and makes use of the TivoToGo service.

The system-on-chip solution promises to provide "living-room quality video entertainment" on the road, according to AMD. Designed for personal media players, the Alchemy processor is able to scale movies on different display sizes and transfer from digital video recorders without the need to transcode files through a PC.

The Au1200 is equipped with media acceleration hardware and accompanying media player software and does not require a digital signal processor (DSP) or DSP coding, AMD said. The company hopes that the feature set will allow manufacturers of portable media players to decrease development time of their products and "offer the devices at more affordable prices".

The announcement of the processor coincides with the launch of the TivoToGo service, basically a mobile version of the DVR product. Tivo offers its subscribers a free software update for Series2 boxes that allows users to transfer programs from a TiVo box to a notebook or portable device.

Once content is on the portable media player, the Au1200 processor can provide a DVD-quality display that can be scaled directly to larger screens with resolutions of 720x480 or 1024x768 without compromising image quality, AMD said. The Au1200 processor supports the formats MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV9, H.263 and DivX. One of the first portable media plyer devices comes from consumer electronics company GoVideo, which is mainly known for its DVD recorders.

The AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor is planned to be available in production quantities in the second quarter of 2005 in 333 MHz, 400 MHz and 500 MHz speed options. In 10,000 unit quantities, the AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor (333 MHz version) will be priced at $22.50.