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April 22, 2003

Table of Contents

BenQ Gets into LCD Television Business Using Pixelworks Technology
Carnie Digital Announces Its Successful Launch Using EM3 Technology
NEC Announces Reference Boards for Low Power, High Performance MPEG-2 Codecs
Marvell Introduces Industry's First 3 Gbps Serial ATA II Product
Toshiba Rolls Out New Single-Chip High Definition Digital Multimedia Decoder Chip
Spectra Systems and Singulus Technologies Form a Partnership for Commercialization of MediaCoat Technology
1394 Trade Association to Demonstrate Latest in Home Networking
Samsung Designs New Progressive-Scan DVD Player with Genesis Technology

BenQ Gets into LCD Television Business Using Pixelworks Technology

Pixelworks, Inc., a leading provider of system-on-a-chip ICs for the advanced display industry, announced earlier that BenQ has standardized its LCD television products on Pixelworks ImageProcessor and Video SignalProcessor ICs for a complete, high performance electronics solution. By using Pixelworks reference designs for LCD television, BenQ developed the H200 (pictured) and Q150 models using a common design platform that helped BenQ enter the rapidly growing LCD TV business quickly.

BenQ, the second largest LCD monitor manufacturer worldwide, made a strategic decision to target the rapidly growing LCD television business. LCD televisions are poised for strong growth over the next two years. DisplaySearch estimates that in 2003 less than 4 million LCD televisions will be sold but sales will grow to more than 13 million units in 2005, a compound annual growth rate of more than 80 percent.

The 20.1-inch H200 and 15-inch Q150 models deliver sharp images in both standard and high-definition video formats. Pixelworks technology handles a wide range of signals through RGB, component, S-video, and composite inputs which can be connected to any video source, including worldwide broadcast television including HDTV formats, cable or satellite set-top boxes, DVD players, VCRs, video game consoles, and even personal computers.

The H200 LCD Television is currently available and the Q150 is expected to be released in April 2003.

(http://www.pixelworks.com), (http://www.benq.com)

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Carnie Digital Announces Its Successful Launch Using EM3 Technology

W.A.M. Management Inc. is proud to announce that Carnie Digital, located at www.carniedigital.com, has been successfully launched and is growing fast with a continual flow of artists, labels, and fans joining its family.

The primary focus of Carnie Digital is to provide a secure, fast, legal way for bands, labels, and music lovers to join forces on the Internet and fight piracy.  Using the latest in EM3 (encrypted music files), Carnie Digital provides an ideal site for local and national artists to distribute their music by offering an unprecedented 70% royalty to the artist, free encryption of songs, free extensive and informative web pages for promotion, free signup, and free information updates.

Artists and Fans have found the website very user friendly.  Many of the problems common to other download sites have been eliminated, creating a fresh and enjoyable experience.  Every song on the site can be sampled and extra steps were taken to provide state-of-the-art security control for both the artist's songs and the assured privacy for those who are purchasing them.  Additionally, Carnie Digital is also committed to nurturing the musicians of tomorrow.  Five percent of the net proceeds from every download will be given to children's music charities.

(http://www.carniedigital.com)

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NEC Announces Reference Boards for Low Power, High Performance MPEG-2 Codecs

NEC Electronics America, Inc. today announced the availability of reference boards for the company's MPEG-2 encoder/decoder (codec) products.  The new boards feature NEC Electronics' ultra-low-power uPD61151 and uPD61152 MPEG-2 audio/visual (AV) codecs, which integrate an audio encoder, video encoder, 32-bit V85 microcontroller core and PCI bus interface onto a single chip with large-scale integration. Windows CE and Video for Linux Two (V4L2) drivers for the reference boards also are available. NEC Electronics America will have demonstrations of these boards in its booth #2106 this week at Embedded Systems Conference at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.  

The flexible reference boards enable designers to quickly develop high-performance set-top boxes, PCs, and personal video recorder equipment.  In addition, the boards can be combined with NEC Electronics America's VR Series RockHopper reference platform to enable the development and test of complete systems solutions.

The reference boards support up to two uPD61151 or uPD61152 LSI devices to conserve PCI slots and provide additional encoding performance.  The devices can be used for encoding and decoding and support a full range of interfaces, including transport stream input and output; composite video input and output; S-video input and output; analog audio input and output; and external BT.656 input.  The reference boards also can use NEC Electronics' uPD61051 MPEG-2 AV encoder LSI device for additional product development options.  The boards can be used in a PCI slot or standalone configuration, in which case the card can be addressed through a parallel port interface.

The PCI bus interface of NEC Electronics' uPD61151 or uPD61152 LSI devices eases system design by enabling developers to run a transport stream or program stream to the hard drive over the PCI bus rather than the local bus. This arrangement is especially important for data-intensive systems such as high-end set-top boxes and PVR devices.

To use and test a complete design solution, the new boards can be teamed with NEC Electronics America's RockHopper reference systems, which feature a common platform that supports several VR Series MIPS-based microprocessors to provide cost-effective, high-performance, low-power processing and easy integration.  Each RockHopper reference system includes four PCI slots and a variety of other industry-standard interfaces including IDE, USB, and Ethernet.

The MPEG-2 codec reference boards are available now at a price of $1400 each when purchasing the uPD61151 and uPD61152 encoder/decoders in 100,000-unit quantities.  The RockHopper reference boards featuring VR4131, VR5432 or VR5500 processor cards are available at a suggested list price of $2450.

(http://www.necelam.com)

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Marvell Introduces Industry's First 3 Gbps Serial ATA II Product

Marvell, a technology leader in the development of extreme broadband communications and storage solutions, recently introduced the 88SA8050 bridge chip, the industry's first 3Gbps Serial ATA II solution enabling one of the highest throughput SATA storage systems available. Included in the 88SA8050 device is Marvell's next-generation Physical Layer (PHY) transceiver architecture, which supports Serial ATA II, Serial Attached SCSI, and Fibre Channel, and is being utilized across Marvell's Hard Disk Drive (HDD) System-On-Chip (SOC), Storage Networking and custom ASIC solutions. With the introduction of its Serial ATA II technology, Marvell is enabling a 200% increase in throughput as compared to existing Serial ATA storage systems and computing platforms.

Serial ATA I is now in full production, having picked up considerable momentum in not only mainstream PC applications, but also in enterprise applications traditionally dominated by the more costly SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces. Serial ATA II is fully backward compatible with Serial ATA I, while offering a 2X increase in transfer rate, from 1.5 Gbps to 3.0 Gbps. In addition, this new interface generation offers a number of superset feature enhancements to the Serial ATA I standard, including Native Command Queuing and support for Serial ATA Port Multiplier and Port Selector technology. These enhancements will further solidify Serial ATA as the interface standard of choice for a wide variety of applications, such as servers, networked storage, desktop PCs as well as mobile and consumer electronic computing applications.

Marvell is currently sampling the 88SA8050 Serial ATA bridge chip to select customers. The device is available in a 64-pin TQFP package.

(http://www.marvell.com)

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Toshiba Rolls Out New Single-Chip High Definition Digital Multimedia Decoder Chip

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. has announced a new single-chip high-definition (HD) digital multimedia decoder device with an integrated 64-bit 200MHz MIPS-based reduced instruction set computer (RISC) TX49 central processing unit, an MPEG-2 decoder and peripherals.  Target applications for the TC81240TBG include HD set-top boxes and HDTVs incorporating the receiver for satellite, cable and terrestrial digital broadcasts, as well as many new applications requiring HD capabilities.  Sample and volume production quantities of the device are currently available.

Key features of the TC81240TBG include the following:

• Integrated 200MHz 64-bit MIPS-based RISC TX49 CPU with 32K-bytes each of instruction and data cache
• 2-channel MPEG-2 (MP@HL) decoding; supports all Advanced Television Systems Committee formats
• Can decode four channels of standard-definition television
• Uses unified memory architecture; the same memory chips can be used for the CPU and multimedia functions
• Supports multiple audio standards, including Advanced Audio Coding, Dolby Digital, MPEG-1 layers 1, 2 and 3
• Incorporates high-quality video capture and display functions
• Contains a versatile scaler to output multiple pictures on the screen
• Integrated NTSC/PAL/SECAM video encoder
• Includes a secondary video encoder for VCR recording
• Contains a bit block transfer engine and alpha blending for high-quality on-screen displays
• Supports worldwide conditional access systems, including DES, TDES, DVB and Multi-2 descramblers
• Integrated input/output, including universal serial bus (USB), PCI, universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter, general-purpose input/output, SmartCard and Inter-IC bus

Along with a reduced parts count, Toshiba incorporated upgraded functions into the new device.  Enhanced MPEG-2 decoding capability now allows simultaneous decoding of two HD channels, and the CPU operating frequency was increased from 32-bit 133MHz to 64-bit 200MHz.  The device supports additional interfaces, including USB, and also features unified memory architecture.

Samples and volume production quantities of the device are currently available.  Current pricing is $35.00 each in 300,000-piece quantities.  TAEC can also provide evaluation tools, including reference boards and driver software.

(http://www.toshiba.com/taec)

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Spectra Systems and Singulus Technologies Form a Partnership for Commercialization of MediaCoat Technology

Spectra Systems Corporation and Singulus Technologies AG have reached an agreement on the development and commercialization of customized equipment for the application of MediaCoat. MediaCoat is a coating that allows for the application of graphics, alphanumerics, and barcodes on the play side of optical discs.  This unique technology, which is compatible with all pre-recorded optical media formats and industry specifications, including double-sided discs, unlocks the potential for disseminating targeted advertising messages that are certain to be noticed on the play-side of motion picture, music, and software discs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Singulus will manufacture and sell MediaCoat equipment, and Spectra will sell its proprietary lacquer formulation and provide licensing opportunities to replicators.

(http://www.spsy.com), (http://www.singulus.de)

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1394 Trade Association to Demonstrate Latest in Home Networking

The 1394 Trade Association will host a comprehensive home network built around the IEEE 1394 audio-video standard at this year's WinHEC in New Orleans, May 4-7.

The demonstration, to include a wide range of new 1394-equipped video and computer products, will be located at booth 318. At the center of the network will be Pioneer Corporation's Elite Audio/Video Receiver with FireWire—the VSX-49TXi—along with the FireWire-equipped Elite DVD player, the DV-47Ai. Other home networking components to be featured in the WinHEC demonstration include a JVC/Victor digital VHS with FireWire, the HM-DH30000U.

Also in the network will be Sony's VAIO notebook, model PCG-FR130; Hewlett-Packard's Media Center desk top computer with FireWire; speakers from Yamaha Corp.; and a large screen TV from Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics.

The home network configuration will be constructed with four UStec, Inc. wall plates connected over 50 meters of CAT5 cable to a UStec Structured Wiring Panel, which contains a 1394b distribution hub, the UStec TP-FH4.

All of the 1394 devices will be linked into the network to deliver video, audio, and Internet Protocol over the network. An RCA TV is included to demonstrate future products, such as inexpensive converter boxes that will allow legacy products to access the same network. The JVC-DVHS will simultaneously send 1394 A/V and analog A/V to both the Mitsubishi DTV and the RCA analog TV.

(http://www.1394ta.org)

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Samsung Designs New Progressive-Scan DVD Player with Genesis Technology

Genesis Microchip Inc., a leading provider of display image processors, announced earlier that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a global leader in the consumer electronics industry, has selected Genesis' FLI2310 video format converter for use in its DVD-HD931 progressive-scan DVD player. Currently available in the U.S., the DVD-HD931 retails for a suggested price of $299 and carries the DCDi by Faroudja brand on its faceplate for easy consumer recognition.

The FLI2310 is a single-chip digital video processor that converts standard interlaced and high definition video signals into formats compatible with the fixed pixel formats of flat panel displays. Additionally, the FLI2310 features video enhancement technologies, aspect ratio conversion and Faroudja's proprietary DCDi algorithms that eliminate the jagged edges seen on moving angled lines in video.

Other advanced performance capabilities of the FLI2310 include the following:

? Patented film mode technology for proper handling of 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown, as well as bad-edit detection/correction
? Motion adaptive algorithms that select optimal filtering on a per-pixel basis to produce maximum resolution and suppress motion artifacts
? Patented non-linear enhancement algorithms to enhance the small details and large edges of an image to create the clearest picture without introducing artifacts
? Flexible horizontal and vertical scalers to perform aspect ratio conversion and to upconvert an image to resolutions up to 1080p or SXGA
? Input resolutions of 480i (NTSC), 576i (PAL/SECAM), 480p, 720p, 1080i and VGA to SXGA
? Output resolutions of 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p and VGA to SXGA

(http://www.samsungelectronics.com), (http://www.genesis-microchip.com)

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