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Method for data retrieval from an HDD for media encode/decode engines

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022484D
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for data retrieval from a hard disk drive (HDD) for media encode/decode engines. Benefits include improved performance and improved user satisfaction.

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Method for data retrieval from an HDD for media encode/decode engines

Disclosed is a method for data retrieval from a hard disk drive (HDD) for media encode/decode engines. Benefits include improved performance and improved user satisfaction.

Background

         Systems that perform video encoding, video decoding, video display, and audio playback are known as personal media players or portable media players. These systems have a significant amount of dataflow across the various system busses. They must be designed to maximize data throughput and minimize latencies in response to data transfer requests. The visual display and the audio sound track of the video images must be provided to the user without missing or corrupted data.

         Conventionally, a typical media player stores the video and/or audio content on some type of a mass storage device. This device is typically an HDD with the content being stored in either compressed or uncompressed format. Accessing the content inherently causes some degree of uncertainty in the system-level design with relation to ensuring that data throughput is maximized and latencies are minimized. This uncertainty comes from the very nature of the HDD electrical interface, which has potentially unpredictable data access and retrieval times.

         This potential for unpredictable access times can cause interference with the normal data flow of video data from the display frame buffer to the physical display of the device or from the audio buffer to the speakers. When this interference occurs, hardware buffers in the system may under-run, causing either a visible disruption (glitch) in the video image or an audible glitch in the sound track.

         Conventional methods for extracting data off of a HDD in this type of system is to request the data and then wait a indeterminate amount of time before it appears, causing an under-run condition in the display and/or audio buffers.

         In a conventional system with an LCD screen or television, a period of time exist during each display line and frame display where the video data is not displayed. These periods are called the horizontal and vertical blanking intervals. During these times, the system generally does not read...