The global economy may be suffering but that doesn’t mean the drive for technological advancement draws to a complete halt.

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, On2 Technologies’ director of marketing, Tony Hope, told about the push to bring high-def video content to mobile devices.

He said the demand from handset manufacturers for 1080p content was growing – and by necessity they are looking two or three years ahead.

"Almost every handset manufacturer wants to support HD video content on their mobile devices," he said.

"The view is that two to three years down the road, 1080p decoding will be supported on these devices – and not just decoding but encoding for video and pictures as well."

Based in Clifton Park, NY, On2 has positioned itself at the forefront of video compression technology and during MWC announced a 1080p video encoder for battery operated devices and consumer electronics.

The new hardware design, the Hantro 8270, supports H.264 Baseline, Main and High Profile video along with 16Mpixel JPEG still images.

Hope said On2 could easily be described as "one of the more popular companies that people have never heard of".

The company’s video compression technologies – including its VP6 codec – are on hundreds of millions of mobiles with Nokia among its customers.

"We’ve been developing our own compression technology for the last 15 years," he said. "And our VP6 is one of the most popular codecs on the planet."

With the likes of NVIDIA – with it Tegra APX 2600 chipset – and Texas Instruments – with its OMAP 3 platfrom and plans for a chip that handles 1080p – working feverishly on HD technology, the pace for 1080p certainly seems to be quickening.

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