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Cheaper Blu-ray promised by tiny new chip

BD player
These will get a lot cheaper right around Christmas this year

Blu-ray players and recorders look set to get considerably cheaper after a breakthrough that squeezes all their processing components onto a single chip.

Japan's NEC has announced what it calls the EMMA 3PF, which is the world's first fully functional BD controller on just one chip with its own multi-core CPU.

HDMI on same chip

Those functions include analogue-to-digital data conversion, video and audio decoding and the ability to pump the resulting data out to a TV through an on-chip HDMI processor.

When the 3PF starts shipping to hardware builders next month, they'll also be getting full BD-ROM Profile 2.0 support, network connectivity and a graphics accelerator, meaning they'll be able to make players both smaller and far cheaper than they are now.