(If you haven't seen the dissection post, you should start there.)
Just got emailed a fun question from someone who obviously understands a little about silicon:
Hey, do you know what the chip near the south bridge is that is covered by an integrated heat spreader? It has a bunch of memory right next to it. Looks to be something that is helping with the decode but we can't figure out what. Can you see what's under the heat spreader? Also, what are the Analog Devices parts near there? They look like Blackfins...
Thanks - Inquiring minds want to know
Wow, this is one of the more in-depth questions I've ever been asked about one of my blog posts. Well Matt, for that you've earned yourself this video post showcasing the unveiling of the h.264 video chip that is used in the player!
3.5 minute video analyzing the audio and video chipset (928x576 at 15fps, 31 megs)
Looks like the Broadcom chip has 64 megs of video memory at its disposal, and although it includes audio decoding, the real audio decoding is being done with the other silicon.
The other chips mentioned during the video are, in order of appearance:
Just a guess but perhaps the powerful Xilinx FPGA is the place where the AACS decoding is being done. It seems like the only part truly capable of decoding a 20Mbps stream in real-time. And I can't really imagine that work being done in x86 code, but perhaps it is...
There are a ton of other software questions people have asked. I haven't forgotten about you. I've just been extremely busy with work. Sometime I'll have a moment and be able to blog more info. Some I can't get too much into because I don't want to upset Toshiba that much (legal implications and such). But some things can be discussed.
UPDATE: Thanks to Eric from Minnesota who pointed out that I meant 512K for the ISSI parts rathar than 512 megs! (Very embarassing when I'm off by a whopping 3 orders of magnitude.) There is still an error in the video, but at least it was corrected here in the text.