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Panasonic 45nm chip boosts HD-AV power

Plasma TVs could be an early beneficiary of the new, more powerful 45nm chips

Panasonic has begun mass-production of a new 45nm chip which it says will deliver increased power and performance for high definition and audio-visual applications.

The UniPher (Universal Platform for High-quality Image Enhancing Revolution) processor offers H.264 video encoding/decoding and symmetric multi-processing. It can even be used to run two 1080p video displays in parallel. It also delivers better 3D graphics performance and consumes up to 50 per cent less energy than 65nm alternatives. Phew.

The chips are already sweeping off the production line at the company's new 45nm fab in Ouzo, Japan - beating arch-rivals Toshiba, Sony and others into the bargain.

It's not clear yet how Panasonic plans to use the chips. But we wouldn't be surprised to see them in the company's next-generation home entertainment devices including Blu-ray players, flat panel TVs and home cinema kit.