Decoder among the first to support WMV9 based DVD players

Las Vegas, NV Jan. 7, 2004 — Sigma Designs, a provider of digital media processing for consumer appliances, today announced the EM8620L, the next generation series of media processors that support Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9), the advanced video compression technology from Microsoft Corp. The chip also supports HighMAT (High Performance Media Access Technology), a technology jointly developed by Microsoft and Matsushita Electric Industrial to enable better performance and navigation of personal audio, video and photo CDs in next generation entertainment devices.

Sigma's new EM8620L decoder chip offers a high performance architecture that supports single-chip implementations of IP video appliances, DVD players, DVD receivers and high-definition (HD) television applications. At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sigma will showcase its EM8620L at the Microsoft eHome exhibit, and at the Sigma hospitality suite located at the Hilton Hotel.

For telco operators, WMV9 solution enables the delivery of live broadcasts and interactive services such as video-on-demand (VOD) and Internet protocol television (IPTV) over broadband networks via advanced low-cost, set-top boxes (STBs). By using Windows Media 9 Series in their deployments, operators can deliver video at a fraction of the bandwidth required using traditional MPEG-2, while also ensuring secure delivery of content using Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM).

The new EM8620L media processor from Sigma Designs provides a complete single-chip solution for IP video set-top boxes, DVD receivers and DVD players. The EM8620L offers a wide range of media processing functions for video decoding, audio decoding, and graphics processing based on REALmagic HD technology, for the highest quality image possible on high definition displays. For single-chip systems, it features an on-chip RISC processor, PCI-bus, IDE controller and additional peripheral ports for supporting other subsystems. Configured with standard front-end components, the EM8620L provides a full-featured solution for advanced set-top appliances.

Key features of the new EM8620L chip include:

— Video decoding of WMV9, MPEG-4, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 streams, at HD or multi-stream SD.
— Audio DSP supports decoding of WMA9, WMA Pro, WMA lossless, Dolby Digital, MP3, MPEG-1/2 (layers 1, 2, and 3) and MPEG-4 AAC.
— Graphics processing with 2D acceleration, and 32-bit OSD.
— Advanced display processing including, programmable linear and non-linear scaling, 5-plane video mixer, adaptive de-interlacing, adaptive flicker filtering and pixel-based alpha mixing.
— Advanced copy protection supporting Windows Media DRM, AES, DES, triple-DES, and RC4 algorithms, as well as CSS for DVD playback.
— System-on-chip architecture with RISC CPU, unified memory controller, and interfaces for PCI, IDE, SPI, IR, UART and local bus.
— Software support under Linux and WinCE for VOD, DVD playback, PVR applications and HighMAT navigation.

The EM8620L media processors will be sold through Sigma's direct sales force. Samples will be available in March with production scheduled for May.

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