NEC Promises ‘Super-Resolution’ Technology for Low-Res Footage

The company says it can bring yesterday's video up to today's standards.
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More and more facilities have top-flight high-definition monitors. But if they show standard-definition footage, the great technology only goes so far.

NEC Electronics says it has a new “application-specific standard product” (ASSP) to address that mismatch, upgrading legacy and low-quality material for high-quality displays.

The NEC’s small, low-power product is based on the company’s “single-frame super-resolution technology,” that sharpens out-of-focus images, smoothes rough edges and refines contours by analyzing and processing information contained in one frame of data in real time.

NEC sees designers integrating the ASSP into a wide variety of future devices using standard video interfaces for data input and output.

NEC plans to continue developing next-generation super-resolution ASSPs with increased operating frequency and expanded video output size, and by 2010, the company expects to receive orders totaling more than $110 million for super-resolution products.

The technology enhances image data from quarter video graphics array (QVGA) resolution (320x240) to wide VGA (WVGA) resolution (800x480) for clear image display on mobile phones and car navigation systems. The technology also achieves 1920x1080 high-definition by boosting image data in the 640x480 VGA format ordinarily used for TV broadcasts and DVD storage to six times the resolution.

“The new NEC Electronics ASSP successfully corrects the difference between yesterday’s data resolution and today’s,” the company said in a statement. “Now, clearer images can be achieved quickly, easily and inexpensively.”

NEC says its “Super-Resolution Technology” is superior to old methods that required large-capacity external memory that made it expensive and difficult to create hardware capable of real-time processing. NEC Electronics' new technology enables very high-resolution processing with just one frame of image data, the company said, reducing the processing load, eliminating the need for external high-capacity memory, and reducing power consumption.

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