MiMagic 6 Provides Up to One Hundred Times More 3D Performance Per Milliwatt
Than Alternative Solutions
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NeoMagic Corporation
(Nasdaq: NMGC), a pioneer in Applications Processors for multimedia-rich
mobile phones, wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other mobile
handheld systems, today announced that its MiMagic 6 is the first Applications
Processor capable of delivering fully-featured, on-chip 3D graphics
acceleration. NeoMagic is a contributing member of The Khronos Group, Inc.,
which has defined the OpenGL ES emerging industry standard 3D interface.
NeoMagic's MiMagic 6 enables a new generation of high performance 3D and
gaming capability on hand-held devices without adding cost, size or weight.
The MiMagic 6, with its massively parallel APA multimedia engine, also
optimizes power and performance for a complete range of multimedia
applications, including digital audio processing, image processing, MPEG-4 and
H.264 video decoding and encoding, and video conferencing.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020802/NMGCLOGO )
"NeoMagic's massively parallel APA accelerator enables the company to
offer, in one chip, 3D graphics support for games as well as audio and video
processing. Designed strictly as an accelerator for multimedia, the APA uses
less power than an unaided general-purpose microprocessor executing the same
applications," said Max Baron, principal analyst and senior editor at
Instat/MDR. "NeoMagic's APA accelerator, first integrated into the MiMagic 6,
may turn out to be a major differentiator through its capability to execute
any logical function that can be expressed as a bit-sequential program -- and
to execute it directly within its own on-chip memory," concluded Baron.
"Design engineers are beginning to understand that a multimedia-rich
Applications Processor makes sense, even for highly focused devices like
mobile phones. The efficiency that the MiMagic 6 provides is reflected not
only in performance and power, but in the flexibility and scalability of its
APA-based multimedia engine," said Mark Singer, vice president of marketing
for NeoMagic. "When MiMagic 6 is used, a single mobile platform can be
designed to include a wide range of multimedia features, or can be rapidly
upgraded with new capabilities. The key is offering superior multimedia with
a path to future needs."
Full 3D Performance
Gaming is one of several new multimedia capabilities that is driving the
adoption of increasingly sophisticated mobile phones and wireless PDAs. 3D
graphics technology, as found in the PC and gaming console markets, is quite
complex. It is important to achieve high enough performance to provide a full
set of 3D features, along with the fluidity, or speed of motion, that the
game-playing consumer has come to expect. But for handheld devices such as
mobile phones, the power consumption to attain that performance level is also
To provide a visually appealing 3D presentation of a game-generated
environment requires a tremendous amount of computation. Objects in the game
are modeled as a skeleton of polygons -- or triangles -- which must be covered
with realistic-looking textured surfaces, using modulation and lighting, so
that they appear as solid objects. These must then be manipulated through
complex motions in relation to other modeled objects. A compelling gaming
environment also shows environmental factors such as light, fog, and
see-through objects. All of these factors must be computed rapidly enough for
fluid movement on the screen.
Triangles per second is a typical gaming-industry measurement for 3D
computational performance, with a higher number of triangles per second
desirable. When more triangles per second can be calculated, scenes can be
more complex, and game-play more fluid. Currently, 3D games can be rendered
entirely in software on high-end PDAs with RISC-based Applications Processors
running at 400 megahertz (MHz) or more, achieving about 20 to 60 thousand
triangles per second, depending on scene complexity. Unfortunately this
approach consumes several hundred milliwatts of power, meaning heavier
batteries and shorter battery life.
Mobile phones, on the other hand, have lower-speed baseband processors,
and increasingly rely upon these to run ever-more features and functions,
including games. While more power-efficient, basebands are generally less
robust computationally, and on their own can typically achieve only 6 to 20
thousand triangles per second in 3D gaming environments.
Even a high-end Applications Processor calculating 20 to 60 thousand
triangles per second may produce only two to six frames per second of motion
in a reasonably complex game -- much too slow for an engaging gaming
experience. Consequently, there is a need for improved 3D computational
performance at low power consumption for battery-operated units.
The multimedia engine in the MiMagic 6 can deliver 300 thousand to one
million 3D triangles per second when operating at only 100MHz. This dramatic
increase in performance results in a rich handheld gaming experience, with
complex games running at 30 frames per second or more. The MiMagic 6 does not
require additional external components, or added cost, in order to accomplish
3D Performance Efficiency
In order to deliver long battery life while playing 3D games, and to
reserve battery power for phone calls in mobile handsets, the designer of a
mobile handset must consider power consumption along with 3D performance: How
much power does it take to deliver a given level of 3D gaming performance?
One way to measure performance-power efficiency is to take the computational
performance (measured as triangles per second or TPS), and divide by the power
consumption of the 3D solution (measured in milliwatts).
A 32-bit RISC baseband and a 32-bit RISC Applications Processor will each
process about 200 to 240 triangles per second per milliwatt. In comparison,
the MiMagic 6 APA multimedia engine can deliver up to 20,000 triangles per
second per milliwatt.
The MiMagic 6 3D solution improves 3D performance-power efficiency by as
much as two orders of magnitude over typical mobile phone baseband processors
or competitive Applications Processors.
Full 3D Requires Rich Capability Set
The MiMagic 6 performs the 3D calculations required for high performance,
gaming on handheld devices. The massively parallel APA multimedia engine
performs computations on multiple triangles at one time. To date, other
Applications Processors and companion chips for handheld "gaming acceleration"
have not delivered a full 3D feature set.
For example, in complex scenes with thousands of polygons, the APA
multimedia engine computes geometry, lighting, and projection calculations.
This offloads the ARM9 RISC processor in the MiMagic 6 from performing the
complex computation of the coordinates in space and on the screen, where
triangles are to be drawn. Once the triangle coordinates are determined,
another computation must be performed for each pixel to determine which
portion of any triangle may be in front of another, referred to as the
The drawing of each triangle may also include different attributes for the
triangle such as color interpolation (Gouraud shading), or applying a texture
map. When applying a texture, MiMagic 6 can also compute MIP mapping and
bilinear filtering of the textures. Other advanced visual features that are
implemented include multi-texture, alpha blending (for transparency or
"see-through" effects), and fog.
A key problem with traditional 3D architectures that have evolved from the
PC marketplace is that increasing performance levels have required ever-larger
memories and ever-higher memory bandwidth to manage texturing and Z-buffering.
Accessing these memories contributes greatly to the overall system power of a
3D solution. Using patent-pending algorithms for 3D computation that take
advantage of the unique nature of the APA multimedia engine, MiMagic 6
provides advanced 3D features, like Z-order calculations without the need for
added memories. This results in a net savings of power and cost with the
MiMagic 6 implementation.
More Than Just 3D Graphics
While the MiMagic 6 enables full 3D graphics performance at a low power,
the APA in the MiMagic 6 is a multifunctional multimedia engine rather than
dedicated 3D graphics hardware. Consequently, the MiMagic 6 can be used for a
full range of multimedia tasks, including digital audio, video, and image
processing. The result is a more cost-effective multimedia solution compared
to external hardware solutions, and a lower power consumption solution
relative to processing on the RISC CPU as is done with other Applications
The MiMagic 6
The MiMagic 6 is the first member in NeoMagic's family of ARM-based
Applications Processors to incorporate the APA multimedia engine. The MiMagic
6 includes a 200MHz ARM926EJ processor with 16KB instruction cache, 16KB data
cache, and a tightly coupled memory (TCM), as well as Jazelle hardware Java
acceleration for broad compatibility with popular operating systems and
software. In order to move data into and out of the device efficiently, the
MiMagic 6 incorporates a unique dual external memory bus to minimize
contention between CPU instruction and data fetches. It also has a
multi-layered internal bus architecture to provide for high internal data
bandwidth. The MiMagic 6 includes 1.7 megabits of internal SRAM for video and
graphics frame buffer; dedicated hardware for pre-processing of camera input;
a 2D BitBLT graphics engine to improve performance of Graphical User
Interfaces; dual video overlay datapaths, and numerous input/output (I/O)
devices such as UARTs, USB, and memory card controllers. The MiMagic 6 comes
in a 13 x 13 x 1.2 mm very small ball grid array (BGA) package. Samples are
available today, with production deliveries priced below $18 at unit
quantities above 10,000 pieces.
MiMagic 6 Demonstrating at CES
NeoMagic will be demonstrating its MiMagic 6 Applications Processor at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7th and 8th, 2004. NeoMagic
will participate in the Khronos display at the Digital Games Summit exhibit on
January 7th (www.ihollywoodforum.com). The company will also be demonstrating
at Lunch@Piero's ( www.patmeier.com/pieros/lunchatevents.htm) on January 8th.
For more information on these events, please contact Willa McManmon,
NeoMagic's director of corporate communications, at email@example.com.
NeoMagic Corporation, based in Santa Clara, California, enables new
generations of handheld systems with Applications Processors that are designed
to offer the lowest power, smallest form-factor and best multimedia features
and performance. The company is a pioneer in the integration of complex logic,
memory and analog circuits into single-chip solutions. Information on the
company may be found on the World Wide Web at www.neomagic.com.
NOTE: NeoMagic and the NeoMagic circle logo are registered trademarks,
and MiMagic is a trademark, of NeoMagic Corporation. ARM and ARM9 are
trademarks of ARM Limited. All other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners. NeoMagic disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks
and names of others.
SOURCE NeoMagic Corporation
Willa McManmon of NeoMagic
or Emilio Dabul of Fusion PR
firstname.lastname@example.org, for NeoMagic
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