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Moore's Law,
Size, and Power

Moore's Law has changed everything about computing power and form factor since the first super computer in 1979.

1979: Super Computer
Cray Supercomputer
Size: 58 cubic feet
Weight: 5,300 pounds
CPU: Equivalent to 160 MHz

1989: Desktop
Intel 80486 (i486) PC
Size: ~2 cubic feet
Weight: ~50 pounds
CPU: 50 MHz

1992: Laptop
IBM ThinkPad
Size: 0.124 cubic feet
Weight 6.5 pounds
CPU: 25 MHz

2010: Mobile Device
iPhone 4
Size: 0.003 cubic feet
Weight: 4.8 ounces
CPU: Capable of 1 GHz

HD Video Trends

As we hurtle down the path of Moore's Law, Ambarella is following three trends that are having a huge impact on how we design our high-definition (HD) video processing SoCs for our customers' next-generation products.

  • Shrinking form factor, shrinking power usage, increasing processing power: our phones, cameras, and notebooks are always with us and either always on or quick to boot up. Every generation brings dazzling new features.
  • As Internet bandwidth increases, it becomes more and more a part of our daily lives—we can constantly update our networks through social media. Increasingly those updates will be HD video.
  • Video is a compelling way to stay connected—with customers, family, and friends. These powerful personal devices are perfect for generating and delivering video via Internet.

Today's semiconductor technology must deliver high-performance capabilities to small, power-efficient designs.

Small but Mighty

Moore's Law—the theory that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years—has had a huge impact on electronic device capabilities: processing speed, memory capacity, sensors, the number and size of pixels in digital cameras. Today, a device that fits in a pocket or purse can do more than a room full of computers could do 40 years ago.

Communication Revolution

Not all that long ago, we communicated by letters and landlines. Video was primarily a one-way medium from the big-three television networks to an antenna on the roof of your house—or really grainy movies of your kids at the zoo.

But Internet bandwidth, social media, and ever-smaller cameras have converged to allow a richer communications experience enhanced by high-quality, highly portable, user-generated audio and video. Whether they're on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, digital images are increasingly a part of our every day lives.

But people are impatient. They want an instant upload of the highest quality. Powerful compression algorithms are critical to quickly deliver quality HD. And people are mobile. Long battery life and a small form factor are also requirements.

Consumer Hybrid Cameras Make the Connection

Ambarella enables small ultra-portable hybrid cameras for on-the-go video acquisition and quick upload to the Internet. Ambarella-powered cameras can also offer dual-encode features: Simultaneously capture HD video and YouTube-quality video, or capture HD video and mega-pixel stills.

Ambarella's highly integrated chips also deliver low-power devices that have a very long battery life, a very small form factor, and advanced compression technology, with an eye to the future as consumer demands move from standard definition to high definition to ultra HD to 3D video.

By shrinking the chip geometry at every process node in conjunction with Moore’s law, Ambarella chips are setting the pace for the next generation of smaller, more powerful devices, capturing and sharing the highest quality images.