AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor - ready to power next-gen portable media players

Posted on Monday, January 03 2005 @ 19:19 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
To celebrate the new year AMD launched a new chip today; the AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor. This is a low-power high-performance system-on-chip solution designed to provide living-room quality video entertainment to mobile devices.

The Au1200 CPU is optimized for personal media player devices and offers a new generation of conveniences and features. This includes scalable DVD-quality displays, effortless video content transfers directly from digital video recorders and a long-lasting battery life.

The Au1200 has integrated media acceleration and doesn't require a digital signal processor (DSP) nor complex DSP coding. This enables portable media player manufacturers to speed products to market more quickly and to offer the devices at a more affordable price.

Portable Media Players containing the Au1200 will allow consumers to connect the device directly to digital video recorders to transfer video content. A PC to transcode the file isn't needed anymore. It will also enable direct transfer of programs from a Series2 TiVo DVR directly to the PMPs, laptops and other portable devices
“TiVo-To-Go enables the secure transfer of broadcast content from a TiVo box to a personal media player and allows consumers to enjoy their TV shows anywhere, in the living room, on a plane, or in a hotel,” said David Sandford, director of technology & licensing business at TiVo. “Portability is a key desire for TiVo subscribers and key innovations in embedded processing, such as the Au1200 processor from AMD, help make it possible to transfer TiVo content directly to portable devices.”
The Au1200 provides a DVD-quality display that can be scaled directly to larger screens without compromising image quality. It also supports the common industry-standard media formats like MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV9, H.263 and DivX.
“The explosive growth of MP3 players illustrates the desire consumers have to take entertainment on the go,” said Iain Morris, senior vice president, AMD Personal Connectivity Solutions Group. “The natural progression to the next ‘must have’ portable entertainment device is a video equivalent to the MP3 player, albeit with a slightly different user model. AMD’s Au1200 processor is an embedded solution that provides PMP manufacturers the ability to meet consumer demand for an affordable, easy-to-use, DVD-picture quality product that is capable of having always-fresh content.”

“The AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor offers designers of personal multimedia players a low-power, high-performance device with impressive video capabilities,” said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst of The Linley Group. “By eliminating the need for a DSP, the processor’s integrated media acceleration engine simplifies the programming environment and helps OEMs get to market more quickly.”
Product Specifications - Key features of the AMD Alchemy Au1200 include:
  • Low-power, high-performance processor with long-term support : Very-low-power consumption: <400mW @ 400MHz
  • DVD video quality (720x480) with multiple video formats : Scales to larger displays (1024x768)
  • Support for DDR1 and DDR2 memories
  • Integrated Media Acceleration Engine : No need for external DSP providing simpler programming environment and fewer components
  • Multimedia transcoding is not required
  • USB2.0 Host and Device : Enables faster download and flexible connectivity
  • LCD controller with overlays and blending capability
  • Camera interface and Internet access peripherals
  • Security : AES-128 data encryption/decryption in hardware
  • Operating system support : Windows CE.NET and Linux

    Pricing and Availability
    The AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor is planned to be available in production quantities in the second quarter of 2005 in 333MHz, 400MHz and 500MHz speed options. In 10,000 unit quantities, the AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor (333MHz version) is priced at $22.50. Visit for more information.

    A complete PMP reference design based on the AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor is available from First International Computer, Inc. (FIC). The FIC PMP reference design, called Vassili, is available to OEM customers and offers a bright 3.6 inch DVD-quality display; convenient DVR-to-PMP direct connection for effortless content transfers; 20GB internal storage with four hours of video playback; and 12 hours of music playback with 16-bit CD quality sound. The FIC Vassili runs the award-winning Implicit Networks Media Player user interface, providing consumers the ability to personalize, manage and browse content on the go. The latest information about FIC products and services can be found at

    Demos of the AMD Alchemy Au1200 processor running on the FIC Vassili PMP reference design can be viewed in AMD’s booth, number 36831, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 6-9, 2005.

  • About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

    Loading Comments