February 11, 2008 / 4:34 PM / in 10 years

TI unveils chips for cell projector, HD recording

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Texas Instruments Inc TXN.N said on Monday it had developed a chip to support cell phones with mini projectors and another chip that would let users record high-definition video on their phones.

The U.S. chip maker, which fell behind rival Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) in the market for mobile phone chips last year, is counting on growing demand for advanced phones to boost growth in sales of its application chips, which support everything from mobile photography and music to gaming and video.

TI said at the Mobile World Congress trade show that it had chips ready for production for so-called pico projectors that can be integrated into a mobile device to project large images onto a wall to help overcome the limitations of tiny phone screens. TI showed prototypes of the technology a year ago.

Greg Delagi, head of TI’s mobile chip business, said he expects the pico projector technology to be used by everybody from executives who want to deliver presentations without having to use a laptop computer to consumers looking for a way to share family photographs or mobile gaming enthusiasts.

“Looking for products in the market a year from now would be about the right time frame,” said Delagi, adding that TI was working with a “number of customers” on the technology.

Leading mobile phone maker Nokia NOK1V.HE is TI’s biggest wireless chip customer.

TI also announced at the show that its latest application chip, the OMAP3440, will let consumers record high-definition video on their cell phones. This chip will be available for handset makers to test in the second quarter, according to Delagi, who expects commercial products in about a year.

    TI’s previous chips supported HD video playback but not recording. Because a HD file would be relatively bulky, users may convert video files to a lower-quality format when sending video to friends or to Web sharing sites, Delagi said.

    But he said the technology would come into its own when users pair their cell phone with a HD television to display the high-quality videos at their best.

    “Once you’ve captured the high-quality image, you’ve got options,” Delagi said in a phone interview.

    He did not name any customers for the chip.

    Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Braden Reddall

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