Paris, France, September 24, 2001 - Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) today announced hardware support by two leading semi-conductor companies, Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN) and ST Microelectronics for mp3PRO, for mp3PRO -- the enhanced version of mp3 that doubles the amount of music in memory and improves the audio quality of compressed music files managed with the new mp3PRO compression format.
Thomson multimedia is the exclusive licensing representative of mp3 patents and software of Fraunhofer IIS-A, Coding Technologies and Thomson multimedia. After having announced last week full software support for the mp3PRO format, Thomson multimedia has completed the first licensing agreement for introduction of mp3PRO in hardware products with TI. In addition, Coding Technologies has announced an alliance with ST Microelectronics under which Coding Technologies will implement mp3PRO for the digital signal processors (DSPs) of ST Microelectronics.
Texas Instruments to introduce mp3PRO products by year-end
TI is the first semiconductor-company to license the mp3PRO digital audio format and aims to introduce products by the end of this year. Using TI's industry-leading programmable (DSPs), manufacturers will now have the ability to update Internet audio devices to support the mp3PRO format. The first THOMSON portable device ready to take full advantage of mp3PRO will be the new LYRA Personal Jukebox, a portable mp3 player with a 10GB hard-disc drive that will hold hundreds of albums, thousands of songs, and can even be used as a remote hard drive to backup data files for the computer. The LYRA Personal Jukebox will be mp3PRO-ready and is expected to be available this holiday shopping season.
Coding Technologies to implement mp3PRO for ST Microelectronics
A leading producer of decoder chips for the existing mp3 standard, ST Microelectronics is working closely with Coding Technologies, the inventor of mp3PRO, to implement the new algorithm for the companyís MMDSP+ digital signal processor core. This 24-bit digital signal processor (DSP) is optimized for high quality audio processing applications and is used by ST in many products for music decoding, speech recognition, echo canceling. Using this optimal DSP core, STís mp3PRO decoder chips will consume less power, extending battery life in portable players.
"Having the backing of two producers as important as TI and ST Micro, guarantees that consumers will be able to play mp3PRO-content on other devices than the PC" said Henri Linde, vice president of new business, patent and licensing unit for Thomson multimedia. "Finally, the immediate availability of software components enables consumers to free up disk-space and artists can now release music in the mp3PRO format while fully managing their rights."
mp3PRO components now available:consumer encoding software by Ahead Software,
a Winamp playback plug-in developed by Thomson for download from various Thomson websites (www.thomson-multimedia.com,www.rca.com)
digital rights management (DRM) from InterTrust,
content through MP3.com, and
hardware playback chipsets from Texas Instruments ST Microelectronics.
Related web sites:
Certain statements in this press release, including any discussion of management expectations for future periods, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on managementís current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic, business, competitive market and regulatory factors. More detail information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson multimedia is contained in the Thomson multimediaís filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
About The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is the leading organization of applied research in Germany. It operates 47 research centers in Germany with about 9,000 employees, about half of them scientists and engineers. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft expands to a worldwide Organization, especially in USA and Asia. Home of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is Munich, Germany. One of the goals of the Fraunhofer policy is a rapid transfer of innovations into products. The total research expenditure is about US$ 700 million.
The Fraunhofer Institut Integrierte Schaltungen (Fraunhofer IIS-A), based in Erlangen, Germany, is one of the 47 research centers. Fraunhofer IIS-A is the leading international research lab in the field of high quality low bit rate audio coding. Fraunhofer IIS-A has been the main developer of the most advanced audio coding schemes, like MPEG Layer-3 and MPEG-2 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding). Fraunhofer IIS-A plays a major role in the ongoing work for the MPEG-4 Audio standardization process and contributes to many other standards bodies as well, like ITU-R TG10/4, ITU-R WP10C and AES.
About Coding Technologies
Coding Technologies is focusing on developing and implementing unique audio compression technologies for the broadcasting, Internet and telecommunication markets. The company offers its audio solutions to system designers, chip/device manufacturers and content providers. Coding Technologies, a privately held company having offices in Stockholm, Sweden, and Nuremberg, Germany, combines the exceptional skills of a Swedish company specialized in audio compression technologies and a spin-off from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. For more information, visit www.codingtechnologies.de.
About Thomson multimedia
With sales of 9.1 billion Euros (U.S. $ 8.3 billion) in 2000 and 73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), provides a wide range of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities: Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products, Patents and Licensing, and New Media Services. The company distributes its products under THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names. For more information: www.thomson-multimedia.com.
Tel: 126.96.36.199.5590 (France)