Toshiba Launches AV notebook PCs that integrate TOSHIBA Quad Core HD Processor “SpursEngine”

Toshiba announced that it will enhance its Japanese line-up of Qosmio AV notebooks with the launch of new models, the Qosmio G50 series and Qosmio F40 series, that integrate the streaming media processing power of the TOSHIBA Quad Core HD Processor SpursEngine SE1000 (“SpursEngine”).

As computers continue to add functionality, they are increasingly used to create, edit, download and view video sources at ever-higher definitions. However, image recognition and processing imposes increased burdens on the CPU performance. The SpursEngine removes these burdens, and brings powerful new functions to the Qosmio line-up.

Derived from the high performance multi-core technology of the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.), and combined with Toshiba’s advanced image processing technology, the SpursEngine integrates four synergistic processing elements (S.P.E.s) and functions as a dedicated co-processor that supports the smooth handling of high definition video streams, image recognition and image processing.

This new processor is designed to remove the burden of processing high definition video data streams from CPU, and it significantly improves processing power and speeds up the handling of multiple, resource-intensive video processing tasks such as conversion of standard definition video content to high definition quality.

The capabilities of the SpursEngine go far beyond simply supporting the CPU, and bring a whole range of new features to the new Qosmio G50 series and Qosmio F40 series.

SpursEngine offers support for Toshiba’s “High-resolution function” that upscales standard definition video sources and bring them to screen in high definition picture quality. This allows users to experience standard DVD video content with high definition quality.

Users viewing video on the new Qosmios can also enjoy other new functions. The “Face navigation function” recognizes and memorizes faces as they appear on screen, and displays them in an easily searched index that can be used to playback video segments featuring a specific person. “Scene Thumb” takes thumbnail snapshots of a user-recorded video, lines them up one after another, and any one can be individually viewed by running the cursor over it. Another feature of thumbnail search is the ability to search by highlight level and section bar, allowing viewers to home on in, for example, heavy applause during a concert video.

The high-end Qosmio G50 series also adds “Gesture Control” for gesture-based interfacing: simple hand movements captured by the PC’s integrated CCD camera, can be used to control video playback and pause, for example, without a mouse or remote controller.

One aspect of the new Qosmio performance that users will really appreciate is its extensive range of recording capabilities. In addition to the ability to upscale standard definition video to high definition quality as it records, the new Qosmios are also able to cut recording time by half, and to boost recording density by a factor of approximately eight—recording up to eight hours of video on the storage capacity usually required for one hour. This is done by real-time compression of high definition digital terrestrial broadcasts into the H.264 format during recording.

Along with the SpursEngine, the new Qosmios also integrate a complete suite of the latest hardware, including a next generation Intel CPU processor and the latest NVIDIA graphic accelerator. The result is a platform offering high-speed processing and high-level graphic processing.

Toshiba has also given the new Qosmio PC a more sophisticated and elegant design, by forming a distinctive pattern on the surface of the case during molding. The high-end Qosmio G50 series feature an 18.4-inch LCD with 16:9 aspect ratio.