Alchemy Semiconductor Demonstrates Real-Time MPEG-4 Video Streaming With Media Excel Software Solution
Software Encoder Eliminates Need for Dedicated Hardware and Delivers Highest Quality Streaming Video
AUSTIN, TX --
Alchemy Semiconductor, Inc. , an Austin-based fabless semiconductor company, announced its selection of Media Excel software as part of its high performance, low power demonstration tour that featured full frame rate encoding based on the MPEG-4 media-interchange technology format without the cost, power and space of specialized hardware. Media Excel, also an Austin-based company, developed an algorithm that performs calculations 800 percent faster than those currently available in the market. By utilizing a software based CODEC, system designers are able to eliminate the need for a dedicated co-processor to encode and decode video content, saving space and keeping power consumption low for portable devices that enable streaming video downloads, gaming, video conferencing and security video viewing.
This solution was demonstrated while running on Alchemy's 400 MHz, .5 watt Au1000 to select editors and analysts as part of a demonstration of the high performance and low power capabilities of Alchemy's MIPs-based (NASDAQ: MIPS) processors.
Any device containing Alchemy's scalable family of microprocessors can deliver the highest quality video and audio in an MPEG-4 format, while utilizing less than 40 percent of its processing power. In addition to the traditional MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 CODECs, MPEG-4 offers increased range and functionality, and supports powerful new features for both content creators and users, such as audio, video, image, 3D animation and interactive capabilities. Moreover, both encoding, (the process of compressing the data that is captured from the source) and decoding, (the decompression process that is viewed on the device screen), are done faster than real-time, a definition of not only processing speed, but also the ample remaining performance and processing power available for larger video screens and additional applications such as video conferencing, security monitoring and streaming media on wired and wireless client devices. Media Excel's software based CODEC eliminates the need for specialized hardware or device upgrades, enabling video streaming on existing handheld devices or computer screens.
Alchemy's Au1000 is the first in the company's highly integrated MIPS32-based family of processors, scaling from 266 MHz to 500MHz with on-chip memory controllers and Internet access peripherals. It's the first highly integrated chip in this performance and power class that is available for Internet Edge Device makers today.
Alchemy CEO Jim Moore said that many factors led to their selection of Media Excel, but ultimately it was their technical superiority and development track record that inspired Alchemy's confidence in Media Excel's ability to offer additional competitive advantages to Alchemy's processing solutions.
"We talked to other companies who could do video compression and decompression, but in our business, we know time to market is a key factor to our customers' success," said Moore. "We gave Media Excel our Pb1000 development board, and in five weeks they were able to port their software for operational deployment using our development tools. That was extremely impressive to us and to our joint potential customers that are now evaluating the combined solutions of Alchemy and Media Excel.
"There are not many CODEC developers of this caliber, so we are extremely fortunate to have some of the best in our Austin backyard," said Moore.
Media Excel's algorithm is not only faster, but also produces a better quality image and uses less system memory. Algorithms used by other companies are typically done using a language called Assembly, compromising the ability to port quickly to other operating systems or processors. Media Excel's standard C based software compression technology is 800 percent faster than that offered by the current leading products.
"Until now no one believed video encoding, which is extremely difficult, could be done on MPEG-4 in the embedded market without some hardware assistance," said George Leppert, Media Excel CEO. "By using Media Excel's unique set of algorithms, we can develop products that are faster, produce better quality and are more rapidly ported to chipsets and most operating systems."
Prior to MPEG-4, media technology formats have been proprietary, producing different versions of a streaming-media technology with no common delivery standards. MPEG-4 is now poised to become the broad, common international standard for packing and transporting media. This means that despite differences in equipment, MPEG-4 will allow for interoperable functionality among devices and media types. Additionally, content providers are looking for ways to boost revenue, and users are looking to download high quality video content or utilities such as security video, without sacrificing performance functions of their devices.
"Now designers will be able to equip their products with basic MPEG-4 capabilities, delivering the latest in media streaming technology without additional processors or taxing power consumption," said Alchemy's Moore. "This partnership with Media Excel is well-timed with our physical demonstration because it points out that the technology capabilities our customers are clamoring for do not have to wait for semiconductor companies to catch up - Alchemy's solution exists today."
About Alchemy Semiconductor
Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1999, Alchemy Semiconductor is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets high performance, yet very low power systems-on-a-chip (SOCs) for the Internet Edge Device market. These devices include both wireless hand-held enterprise PDA, information appliances and remote Internet access products.. The company's founding team includes world-renown embedded microprocessor architects, led by former DEC Alpha / StrongARM design team members, allowing for a combination of proven design execution and MIPS performance technology to achieve high performance, low power dissipation and system integration in its Internet Edge Processor. Alchemy's headquarters are at 7800 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 222W, Austin, Texas 78757; or go to www.alchemysemi.com
About Media Excel
Media Excel was founded in February 2000 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas with a satellite office in Seoul, Korea. Media Excel is currently deploying a series of real-time software solutions for all visual media applications in the marketplace today. Its technology can be applied to commercially successful standards (MPEG, H26x, JPEG, DV), as well as derived industry standards (Microsoft's Windows Media™ , Real Networks' Real Player™ , and Apple's QuickTime™). By creating a cross-platform software suite, Media Excel will revolutionize the distribution of multimedia over networks without compromising quality. For additional information, go to www.mediaexcel.com
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