Apple Contracting For Multimedia Chips?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In an unconfirmed report published at SiliconValleyWatcher.com, Apple has contracted to use a new multimedia chip from Broadcom, who aquired Cambridge, UK based Alphamosaic in 2004.

From the press release about the new chips:
Building on the success of the VC01, Alphamosaic is now sampling VC02, the world's most advanced mobile multimedia processor. The VC02 can display video on 3.5 inch color LCDs and capture 8 megapixel images, making it ideal for watching TV, making videos or taking studio-quality photos on a cellphone.
This new technology could be used to create a video version of the iPod, with high-resolution graphics, game playing possibilities, digital photographs, as well as wireless communication options. Alternatively it could open the gate for a new wave of multimedia devices yet to be introduced.
 

GodBless

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2005
1,005
0
I've been waiting way too long for the video iPod. Here it comes... WWDC?
 

emotion

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2004
3,186
3
Manchester, UK
Wonder Boy said:
jack of all trades, master of none. apple should learn from other's failures.
i mostly think like this (for pdas, phones, media players) but you could say the same of a computer.

we all know that aint true for computers now.

what i'd like to see is an ipod size device that can capture video/audio/stills and then play it back (with tv out or airvideo :) for video).

it's not impossible that we cold head this way with decent video codecs (h264).

anyway....
 

quta

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2005
22
0
video is next

Clearly, video is the next big thing at Apple. If you look at how music progressed, first we had iTunes, with the "Rip Mix Burn" ads, then out came the iPod, then later the Music store, now iPods are selling like crazy and the music store is doing very well.

With video, Apple is still in the early stages; good content creation and management software, but no video equivalent of the iPod, no Movie store, etc. Partly, they are simply waiting for the right hardware technology (like larger 2.5 inch drives, faster embedded processors, better LCD screens, cheaper HDTV circuitry, etc.) and this multimedia chip is part of that technology.

One can easily see the progression though. In the next few years we'll probably see a video iPod with a small screen but also HDTV-out, so you can show your iMovie HD creations without having to burn a Blue-ray DVD at all, and you can watch your H.264-encoded movies purchased and downloaded from the Apple Movie store either on the small screen of your 200 GB video iPod (using Hitachi drives?), or on an HDTV connected to it, or stream it over your 802.11n network to a video-capable Airport Express plugged into your HDTV...

Steve probably had all of this worked out back in 1998, and has just been waiting for technology to catch up to him.
 

Lynxpro

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2005
382
0
Heck, after buying my iPod, I've become convinced that in general, MP3 players need to incorporate strong PDA features. Just imagine the iPod loaded with a new version of the NewtonOS (I'm just throwing this in here for Newton fans), PalmOS Cobalt, or a mini-version of OS X.

I don't want cell phones to kill PDAs because its counter-productive since the trend in cell phones are to shrink the form factor whereas with PDAs, you want as much screen as possible within reason. Cell phones are fine for simple calendar features and songs for ringtones, but other features kill the battery life which is supposed to be devoted to talk time. Non North American markets want the most features possible on their cell phones because dedicated computers were generally cost prohibitive (since computer makers didn't subsidize hardware through a subscription component) and monopolistic national telephone companies refused to offer ISP services at a flat rate for traditional modem connections.

Similarly, the Sony PSP would be even better if it came bundled with PalmOS or Symbian. Not to mention iTunes Music Store compatibility...
 

bathysphere

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2003
70
0
emotion said:
...what i'd like to see is an ipod size device that can capture video/audio/stills and then play it back (with tv out or airvideo :) for video)...
so, you want a... video camera?
 

Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
1,071
0
Georgia
emotion said:
i mostly think like this (for pdas, phones, media players) but you could say the same of a computer.

we all know that aint true for computers now.

what i'd like to see is an ipod size device that can capture video/audio/stills and then play it back (with tv out or airvideo :) for video).

it's not impossible that we cold head this way with decent video codecs (h264).

anyway....

Agreed. The question is: Where does Apple want to take the iPod?

Even two years ago, Apple has the technical ability and at least a limited base of customers that wanted more PDA functionality, but Apple didn't budge. And there are plenty of devices on the market now that take pictures, shoot MP4 clips, work as mobile phones, work as PDAs, etc.

So where does Apple want to take the iPod?

Apple has taken baby steps with the iPod, perfecting features that other manufacturers have already tried. The iPod itself wasn't one of the first MP3 players on the market, and it has only recently added a color screen and photo management capabilities.

Much as the Palm Treo is cool and does everything but cook dinner, Apple will keep the iPod simple and functional. I could see the iPod morphing up to (a) a camera and video camera, (b) a telephone or (c) a mini-display for video content, but I have a hard time seeing Apple as a device that does all of those things. (Have you ever seen the user manual for a Palm Treo?)

Since the iPod is a content device, I think Apple would more likely tend to option (c), despite everything Steve Jobs has said about the screen being too small for video. But I don't think Apple would do it without making the screen larger and the aspect ratio wide. It will be an engineering and ergonomic feat to pull that off without making the device too large.

But I want one.
 

FYA

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2004
55
0
how about...

How about iChat AV on a wifi iPod?

that would be very interesting. :cool:
 

LostPacket

macrumors member
Jun 26, 2003
56
0
Canada, eh
New Device?

I can't see Apple doing something as predictable as just adding video features to the iPod. I think they'll come with an entirely new life-style device like a pvr-esque video camera. It would have all the features talked about previousy, but it would be branded separately from the iPod. I think the iPod would eventually have basic video playback, but that's about it.
 

pennKid

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2005
7
0
k.i.s.s.

The most important thing apple has to do is keep whatever they do simple.

The ipod isn't popular because it has such high capacity. Most people don't have anything near 10,000 songs. It's popular because my grandma can use it. Adding more features can't mean adding complexity.

I think this means some kind of video input on one side, and a big ol' touch color screen on the other. With big os X dock-like buttons.

This also opens up a bigger market for the video version of itunes.


... I hope ... :D
 

Jimmni

macrumors member
May 1, 2003
92
0
One thing I've learnt since switching to Apple with the first iMac is that whatever we think will come next will be great, fun, exciting. But, whatever Steve tells us Apple will be bringing out next will be far cleverer, more interesting and more useful. It won't be a new PDA or multimedia device, it'll be a whole new way of dealing with media, of whatever form. The iPod and iTMS weren't just new products, they were new ways of approaching the market. I don't think we'll just see Steve and Apple using the same formula for movies with a iMedia and iTVS or something like that. We utilise music in a different way to movies, and Steve is cleverer than we are (or at least employs cleverer people) and they'll come up with something much more useful than we're expecting.
 

Object-X

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2004
631
1
Jimmni said:
One thing I've learnt since switching to Apple with the first iMac is that whatever we think will come next will be great, fun, exciting. But, whatever Steve tells us Apple will be bringing out next will be far cleverer, more interesting and more useful. It won't be a new PDA or multimedia device, it'll be a whole new way of dealing with media, of whatever form. The iPod and iTMS weren't just new products, they were new ways of approaching the market. I don't think we'll just see Steve and Apple using the same formula for movies with a iMedia and iTVS or something like that. We utilise music in a different way to movies, and Steve is cleverer than we are (or at least employs cleverer people) and they'll come up with something much more useful than we're expecting.
See...Jimmni gets it! I couldn't agree more. Well said. Nay-sayers be gone!
 

coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,286
3,814
Vancouver, BC
video phone

Here's where I see Apple going with technology.... we only need to look at Star Trek and other shows set in the future to know where we'll be one day.

Apple creates a video device that wireless connects to the local Mac, which is connected through video conferencing iChat to family members across the world... all the technology is being put in place to add video to the phone, but it'll start at home.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
Wonder Boy said:
jack of all trades, master of none. apple should learn from other's failures.
What? You mean its previous inability to adapt to the industry and become a niche market player? :rolleyes:
I think Apple did learn from its failures and that is why there is an iPod Photo. Video on an iPod in some form or another is a foregone conclusion. It WILL happen.
 

coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,286
3,814
Vancouver, BC
Jimmni said:
One thing I've learnt since switching to Apple with the first iMac is that whatever we think will come next will be great, fun, exciting. But, whatever Steve tells us Apple will be bringing out next will be far cleverer, more interesting and more useful. It won't be a new PDA or multimedia device, it'll be a whole new way of dealing with media, of whatever form. The iPod and iTMS weren't just new products, they were new ways of approaching the market. I don't think we'll just see Steve and Apple using the same formula for movies with a iMedia and iTVS or something like that. We utilise music in a different way to movies, and Steve is cleverer than we are (or at least employs cleverer people) and they'll come up with something much more useful than we're expecting.
Bravo Jimmni! Well said. That's the Apple difference (these days). Products *dont'* make it out the door until they've been scrutinized to death. Apple is the technology leader these days, and the proof is all around is. People want iPods! And now they're wanting Macs. I talk to more PC users every day that are taking a serious look. The Mac is back baby, and we're just getting started.
 

Wonder Boy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2003
833
0
South Windsor, CT
SiliconAddict said:
What? You mean its previous inability to adapt to the industry and become a niche market player? :rolleyes:
I think Apple did learn from its failures and that is why there is an iPod Photo. Video on an iPod in some form or another is a foregone conclusion. It WILL happen.
i agree with you, i see the minor flaw in my logic. video will be apart of the ipod. as long as the make the traditional ipod that just plays music i'll be happy. i dont want photos, video, pda functionality to be forced down my consumer throat. let me pick what features i want, or at least give me a choice. /end medication induced rant.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,440
Lynxpro said:
Non North American markets want the most features possible on their cell phones because dedicated computers were generally cost prohibitive (since computer makers didn't subsidize hardware through a subscription component) and monopolistic national telephone companies refused to offer ISP services at a flat rate for traditional modem connections.
Wrong. We want super smartphones because we don't like carrying more than one device. We are not gadget freaks.