Now that 4K televisions are becoming more and more common, and 4K content is starting to be available via satellite (DVB-S2), online (Netflix, Amazon..), and off-line via UHD blu-ray discs, a new consumer initiative has been launched by the UHD Alliance. The UltraHD Premium logo will allow consumers to make sure their new 4K television also supports specific performance metrics for resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), peak luminance, black levels and wide color gamut. many of these new features will allow requires new content, and set-top box beside the compliant television. ViXS Xcode 6800 dual core Cortex-A9 dual-core processor will meet the requirement with a 4K 12bit HEVC (Main12) 60 fps video decoder, HDR Tone Mapping engine, HDMI 2.0a, and more.
Some of the key features of ViXS Xcode 6800 processor:
- CPU – Dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor
- GPU – 3D graphics engine compliant with OpenGL-ES 2.0 and OpenGL-ES 3.0
- Memory – DDR3/DDR4 memory controllers
- Storage – eMMC & SPI flash memory controllers, SATA
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 and support for HDR signaling
- Video Engine
- 1080p HD at 30/60/120/240 frames per second
- 4K Ultra HD up to 60 Hz with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 10-bit / 12-bit color depth support.
- Other peripherals
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Smart card interfaces
- Multiple TS inputs
- Manufacturing process – 28nm
The processor also supports Moca 2.0, “advanced” conditional access and VIDITY DRM. The latter is a new DRM standard that works without Internet connection, and supports three levels:
- Level 1 – Supports up to low bit rate HD including SD
- Level 2 – Supports high bit rate HD playback (Blu-ray quality)
- Level 3 – Supports up to 4K UHD and HDR playback.
So you’ll need a device and TV supporting Level 3 if you intend to play 4K video with HDR, and the storage device will also need to be compliant with VIDITY be it an hard drive or UHD Blu-ray drive. However, if you don’t get the latest equipment you’ll still be able to play the video as a VIDITY movie file embeds multiple formats SD, low bit rate HD, High Bit Rate HD and 4K UHD with HDR. HDR data is some metadata inside the file. Still it looks like this DRM solution could be a hassle, as videos can only be played with VIDITY compliant hardware.
Charbax interviewed the company at CES 2016 while they were showcasing High Dynamic Range with VIDITY compliant set-top box and WDLabs drive, as well as a UHD-BD disc attached to the USB port of one of their reference platform.
The box showcased at CES 2016 was based on Xcode 6830 processor, and Tokyo based sMedio Ultra HD Blu-ray player will be one of the first devices powered by Xcode 6800 series processor, and become available mid 2016. More information about Xcode 6800 series processors should eventually be posted on ViXS Xcode page.