Ziilabs ZMS-40 Quad Core Cortex A9 SoC is now Available

Quad core Cortex A9 SoCZiilabs has just announced the availability of its 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media processor optimized for Android tablets. The ZMS-40 combines 96 of ZiiLABS’ StemCell media processing cores with four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs.

The number of StemCell Media processors has doubled compared to the dual core ZMS-20. Ziilabs’ own GPU benchmark called MandelMark shows a 2X increase in performance or a 50% reduction in power consumption. The benchmark is not yet available for download, but the company plans to release it in Q1 2012 as an apk file.

This processor competes directly with the Nvidia Tegra 3 in terms of CPU and GPU performance. It may actually beat it, as it can support dual independent displays (see below for details).

Here are ZMS-40 Key Features:

  • Quad 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 cores with Neon
  • ZiiLABS flexible Stemcell media processing capabilities
    • Low-energy SIMD architecture for high performance media acceleration
    • 96x 32-bit floating point processing cores for 50GFlops of compute
    • High Profile H.264 video playback at 1080p@30fps
    • Wide range of accelerated video codecs including H.264, VC1 and VP8
    • High Definition, low latency video conferencing
    • Optimised OpenGL ES 2.0 for robust application acceleration and compatibility
    • Accelerated OpenCL 1.1 (desktop profile) integrated into Android NDK
    • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image Processing
    • High-quality Text-to-Speech and Voice Recognition
    • 200MHz Pixel clock image processing
    • Adobe Flash 10 acceleration
  • Enhanced Multimedia Framework
  • Integrated HDM1 1.4 with 3D stereo support
  • DDR2/3 and 1066Mbps LPDDR2 for maximum memory bandwidth and low-power
  • Quad independent video controllers supporting 24-bit displays and cameras
  • 3V3 and 1V8 I/O’s reduce peripheral power consumption
  • Dual USB 2.0 HS OTG (Host/Peripheral) controllers with PHY for low system cost
  • Three independent SDIO/MMC controllers
  • Extended battery life with robust Dynamic Power Management and Instantaneous On
  • Xtreme Fidelity X-Fi audio effects
  • Enhanced Security: 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and TrustZone
ZMS-40 Quad Core Cortex A9 Processor
Ziilabs ZMS-40 Block Diagram

The ZMS-40supports ZiiLABS’ enhanced Android 4.0 implementation that complements the standard Android offering with a suite of software taking advantage of the ZMS processor and includes support for:

  • ZiiPhoto for intelligent photo browsing, 3D slide show and special photo effects,
  • ZiiCamera for real-time preview and capturing of photos with 3D effects; live ultra high resolution 40 megapixel Panoramic photo capture in one sweep; and high dynamic range images,
  • ZiiVideo for advanced video playback including 1080p WebM (VP8) support and trick modes (such as reverse play, frame-by-frame advance and reverse, multi-speed play and more), and skip to any part of a movie by browsing a timeline with thumbnails,
  • Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi’s Crystalizer and CMSS-3D audio effects.

Most tablet have HDMI output and are able to output the mirrored content on HDTV, but Ziilabs goes further and the ZMS-40 can support dual independent displays via a specific Android API, where the TV is showing a different screen from the device. So an application to select media (e.g. TubeMote) could be displayed on the Android tablet while the users watch YouTube HD videos on the TV at the same time.

Ziilabs appears to especially focus on the Chinese market as Sim Wong Hoo, Chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Ltd explained that

The tablet market for China is going to explode, especially with China’s recent emphasis on digital textbooks, digital school bags and digital classrooms for all of its students. We have gained tremendous momentum by working with various partners in this vertical segment of the market alone during the past year… The ZMS-40 further allows us to design and develop a breath-taking 4th generation Android tablet aimed squarely at the Chinese market…. We have developed a beautiful, ultra-slim, ultralight Chinese tablet with Chinese characteristics and unprecedented performance based on the ZMS-40 and Android 4.0 with our very own Chinese platform.

Further details about the Chinese tablet will be announced a little later.

Android 4.0 (ICS) tablets and associated design-kits – such as the Jaguar3 ZMS tablet reference designs – based on the ZMS-40 will be showcased at the ZiiLABS suite (Venetian) in Las Vegas between 10 – 13 Jan at CES 2012.

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