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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Creative Launches New Tablet Platform For The Chinese Market

Creative today announced the Creative HanZpad tablet platform, comprised of ZiiLABS' latest 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media Processor, a series of HanZpad tablet reference designs based on the ZMS-40 and optimized for Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich), and a Chinese operating system (OS).

With their Chinese characteristics, the HanZpad platform solutions target China's vast tablet computer markets.

At the heart of the HanZpad platform is the 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media Processor optimized for Android 4.x. The quad-core ZMS-40 combines 96 of ZiiLABS' StemCell media processing cores with four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs.

By doubling the number of StemCell Media Processors compared to the previous ZMS-20, the ZMS-40 delivers twice the peak media performance, while running the larger array at lower clock speeds to achieve the same performance. This leads to greater energy efficiency and a reduction in power consumption of up to 50 percent. With 2X the performance and 2X the power efficiency, the ZMS-40 delivers increased media capabilities to handheld devices such as tablets, including ultra-high-resolution H.264 HP decoding of up to 3840x1080 for true 1080p 3D stereo, an interactive desktop browsing experience, 2560x1600 (WQXGA) display resolution support, higher-quality video encoding and OpenGL ES graphics and future support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

The HEVC standard (also known as H.265), besides other qualitative benefits, can also increase data compression ratio by up to 2X as compared to H.264. HEVC claims to target the next generation Hi-Def TV market which can support scalable resolutions from 320x240 to 1080p with improved picture quality in terms of noise level, color and dynamic range, and all the way up to a resolution of 7680x4320. Being fully programmable and with their massive parallelism, the 96 cores of StemCell Media Processors can easily handle the computational requirements of this new codec and support higher resolutions that are beyond today's display systems.

Creative has developed the 'HanZpad GS (Golden Standard)' - a slim 10.1-inch Tablet Reference Design.

The HanZpad platform can support a "razor-slim" design as thin as 7.4mm in thickness. All the components can now be compacted into a micro-sized motherboard measuring 2.44" x 4.64", with performance that can rival most laptops and yet consuming only about 1 watt of power. The HadZpad GS series based on the ZMS-40 supports ZiiLABS' Android 4.0 implementation that complements the standard Android offering with a suite of software to exploit the computing power of the ZMS processor. It includes support for:

- ZiiPhoto for intelligent photo browsing, 3D slide show and special photo effects,
- ZiiCamera for real-time preview and capturing of photos with 3D effects; live ultra high resolution 40megapixel Panoramic photo capture in one sweep; and high dynamic range images,
- ZiiVideo for advanced video playback including 1080p WebM (VP8) support and trick modes (such as reverse play, frame-by-frame advance and reverse, multi-speed play and more), and skip to any part of a movie by browsing a timeline with thumbnails,
- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi's Crystalizer and CMSS-3D audio effects, and
- Bluetooth/WiFi high definition audio output.

ZiiLABS' Android supports not just cloning of the device display onto a TV but also APIs to enable dual independent display, where the TV is showing a different screen from the device. For example, a user could be browsing the web for information while watching an HD video on the TV all at the same time.

Creative also integrated its Chinese OS and software into the HanZpad GS - tailoring it especially for the Chinese market and differentiating it from other reference designs in the industry.

The key features in these Chinese software platforms include: handwritten Chinese character input capability, document processing, file sharing and collaboration, multiple Chinese usage applications, rich media tools and digital education solutions such as the iFlashbook (digital textbook engine).

Currently, Creative Knowledge is working with the Chinese educational authorities, textbook publishers and schools in developing their Digital Textbooks and Digital Interactive Classrooms.

The HanZpad platform will now include application suites like eSchoolBag designed for China's education market, making the HanZpad tablet computer an attractive option for the over 200 million Chinese school kids.

To bring a tablet computer to market involves long chains of activities, both vertical and horizontal, from chip R&D, hardware and software development, OS support, user applications development, networking, content creation, industrial design, to component supply, subcontract manufacturing, mould making, solution provider, content provider and so on.

To enable OEMs to ride the wave of the tablet computer, Creative has formed the HanZpad Alliance, to provide fully-integrated solutions and supply chain management for the design, development, production and marketing of tablet computers based on the HanZpad platform.

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