Socionext Shows 8K SoC Solutions at CEATEC

Socionext was at Ceatec where they were promoting their chip set and playback solutions for 8K. One highlight is their SC1H05AT1 (HV5) SoC whose use in an 8K TV is shown in the diagram below and physically demonstrated at the show. (Socionext Supports 8K With Video and Bridge Chips)

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The HV5 does a bunch of things. First, it has a HDMI 2.1 transceiver to accept native 8K content at 60 fps. It can also accept 4K video via the V-by-one interface (ribbon cables) with 4K content input via HDMI 2.0 or from an over-the-air source.

For the 8K content, HV5 does Motion Estimation Motion Compensation (MEMC) analysis to take the 8K/60 content up to 8K/120 for delivery to the 8K panel (over a V-by-one interface). For 4K content, HV5 first scales the content to 8K before doing the MEMC processing. Apparently, there are two levels of upscaling with the better version employing a “super resolution” technology that definitely creates a sharper and crisper image (most noticeable on the pine tree needles). There is also processing to reduce noise and compression artifacts. There is support for HLG and PQ-based HDR as well, but it was unclear if that means tone mapping to adjust to the capabilities of the 8K TV’s performance envelope or not.

Socionext demonstrated the system using content running off an UltraHD Blu-ray player over the HDMI 2.0 interface. The image looked pretty good when viewed close up but some softness and compression noise were still evident, so it’s not perfect. The HV5 is now in mass production and is included in Sharp’s 8K TVs.

The company also showed some format conversion chips for 8K as well with different input and output options.

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These chips can be used to create an 8K media player, like the S8 model shown by Socionext. This box is aimed at digital signage and public viewing applications where 8K HEVC encoded content can be delivered over a GbE connection or a USB stick. The box decodes the 8K in real time and outputs it over 4 HDMI 2.0 cables. Frame rates up to 60 Hz are supported for the 8K content at 8/10 bits per color and a data rate of up to 200 Mbps. One demo showed 8K playback with 8K/60 content delivered over a LAN cable while a second demo showed the 4xHDMI 2.0 output going to a format converter to create a single HDMI 2.1 output (photo). A live camera demo was also being shown. – CC

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