Samsung Introduces Chips For Photo Frames

While it has taken time for digital photo frames to win over consumers, the market to support them has begun to heat up.




Kodak OLED Wireless Digital Photo Frame

A wireless digital photo frame
(click for larger image)

Samsung Electronics on Monday introduced a line of processors designed for digital photo frames, which some analysts say are starting to catch on with consumers.

The S5L2010 series, which Samsung plans to show off at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas, decode video and audio in a variety of multimedia formats, including MPEG-1/2/4, Xvid, Motion JPEG, MP3, WMA, OGG, and AAC. In addition, the system-on-a-chip, which is built on an ARM9 core, provides the platform for developers to build and run software.

Additional features include technology for touch-screen control, booting from a NAND flash device, and audio and TV output. The display controller on the system-on-a-chip supports either an analog or digital LCD screen.

Samsung is sending samples of the S5L2010 series to photo-frame manufacturers. The company expects to go into mass production in the first quarter of next year. Pricing was not disclosed.

While it has taken time for digital photo frames to win over consumers, the market to support them has begun to heat up. Global shipments are expected to increase to 22.7 million units this year, up by 58.8% from last year, according to researcher iSuppli. The devices were introduced in 2005.

Manufacturers include Eastman Kodak, which in September introduced an ultrathin wireless digital photo frame with a 7.6-inch LED, or light-emitting diode, screen that Kodak claims has greater color depth and saturation than the more common LCDs, or liquid crystal displays.

The frame, however, was pricey at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $990. Basic 7-inch digital photo frames, which don't have Wi-Fi support, are available on Amazon for as little as $50. Other frame makers include Philips, Polaroid, Sony, and Westinghouse.

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