Blu-ray is a media format that can store High Definition video and it has taken over HD DVD as a standard storage media not long ago. In view of increasing consumer demand and the lack of similar media decode capability in existing PC system, Broadcom, a global leader in wireless communication has unveiled a series of next generation products that would be able to fill up the gap during the recent Computex event held in Taiwan. Named as BCM70012 and BCM70010 modules, it is especially suitable for entry level PC system, UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) and MID (Mobile Internet Device) market that would like to have the Blu-ray playback as well as some multi-standard HD video decoding capabilities.
Normally, Blu-ray media playback requires powerful CPU or even dedicated GPU in order to process the graphical intensive tasks. But now by having these add-on cards from Broadcom in various form factor plugged into entry level PC, it will able to achieve the same video decode capability by offloading the graphics processing to the hardware core residing in the external module, thus freeing up CPU cycles for other important processing.
BCM70010 is designed with legacy PCI interface whereas BCM70012 is enhanced with higher bandwidth PCI Express lane. While both are able to cater for different generation desktop market, there are also module cards available in the ultra small form factor such as ExpressCard 34 and PCI Express mini-card that are well fitted for UMPC and MID. Good thing is, all these series of products are compatible with Windows XP, Vista and even Linux open source Operating system. No pricing has been announced yet but it is claimed to be affordable to public. Alternatively, if OEM PC makers would like to integrate the Broadcom chipset as part of the whole platform solution, it would even able to bring down the total BOM cost further.