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I know iPhone 4 supports H.264 and MPEG-4 as video codecs, and JPEG and M-JPEG as image codecs.

I'm looking to get some information on the iPhone 4's video and image codecs and processing chips/SoC parts.

  1. Does anyone know which vendor provides the SoC's to enable image/video compression and processing on the iPhone 4?

  2. Are the video/image codec solutions - 'Software codecs' on a specialized dsp-core/processor or hard-wired as in a FPGA/ASIC solution?

Any pointers would be useful.

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migrated from Jan 5 '11 at 18:18

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I think you'll get the answer in the iPhone 4 teardown that the guys at iFixit did sometime ago:

You will be able to see there what components are inside the iPhone 4, but I'd guess all the video compression/decompression is processed by the A4 processor (an ARM Cortex A8 core variant).

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@javipas: Thanks. Got some idea. But still wodnering, if it's on A4(which is a ARM Cortex-A8 with Neon SIMD), would the codecs be implemented in NEON SIMD, or it might have some additional hardwired solution , or a programmable Coprocessor for Video, Imaging functions? Any ideas? – goldenmean Jan 5 '11 at 18:44


It's hard to determine, isn't it? No credible online documentation for A4 cores other than ARM + Imagine Tech.

As far as I can tell, Apple currently provides frame (stream) based H.264 decode API, but not encode. That could be because there's not enough horsepower for multiparty video conf (encode + multiple decode)... or it could just be there is a hardware-assist encode but Apple doesn't want to make it visible through APIs (royalty/licensing issues come to mind).

Our calculations show NEON is not enough for multiparty video conf -- or at best it may work but shut down everything else.


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