More people are buying 1080p HDTVs, but unless you're playing a Blu-ray disc (or console videogames), you have to rely on a device that can upscale your other video sources to take advantage of that extra resolution. NEC Electronics have been working on improving the current technology used to perform that upscaling, and has just announced a new chip that offers several improvements over current solutions.
In particular, the new µPD9280GM boosts the operating frequency to 150 megahertz from competitors' 108 megahertz, and supports 30-bit color (which HDMI v1.3 also supports) instead of 24-bit. While 24-bit color offers 15 million colors, 30-bit color can display up to 1 billion colors. Finally, because the µPD9280GM can process image data from just a single frame, it doesn't require any external memory, which current technologies must rely on since they need to process multiple frames.
According to NEC, the result is better upscaling using fewer resources. In the age of low-res Web videos and 1080p screens to view them on, upscaling will only become more important. The company plans to start mass production of the µPD9280GM in July, though no devices have been announced yet that will be using the chip.