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Cirrus Logic Unveils Industry's First Audio DSP Chip for 'Universal' DVD Players

Only Chip to Support MLP Requirement, Dolby Digital, DTS, & MPEG; Delivers 192KHz, Studio-Quality Audio

FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 18, 1999-- Targeting the DVD player market with its high-quality programmable audio solutions, Cirrus Logic Inc. today introduced a unique DVD audio decoder chip that enables a new category of "universal" DVD players.

Designed for the newly emerging DVD players that provide both the highest-quality audio and video playback, the new Crystal® CS49300 audio decoder delivers high-resolution, "reference-grade" audio output -- at up to192KHz! The result is studio-quality audio reproduction and an exciting DVD audio experience.

As the only chip now available that supports the mandatory Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) audio compression standard, the CS49300 is also unique in its support of all leading DVD movie formats. For manufacturers of both home and professional DVD players, the CS49300 offers a multi-format, single-chip solution that meets the MLP requirement for DVD audio players, as well as consumer expectations for transparent, universal DVD movie compatibility.

In addition to supporting the MLP audio format -- the new lossless coding system for high quality digital audio -- the CS49300 will support all of the popular DVD movie audio types: Multi-channel pulse code modulation (PCM), MPEG, Dolby Digital® and DTS.

With support for multiple formats, the CS49300 prevents media compatibility conflicts for consumers, so that regardless of DVD media type, consumers can rely on audio playback in the Crystal-enabled DVD player. As a result, the CS49300 enables OEMs to extend the DVD player market beyond movie playback to studio quality music.

Building on Crystal audio DSP leadership, the CS49300 is the first component in a new family of multi-channel audio decoders targeted at digital television, broadcast set-top boxes, audio video receiver amplifiers and emerging DVD player applications. The programmable architecture of Crystal audio DSPs provides a distinct advantage in being able to support new standards as they emerge.

Unique Professional Quality, Multi-Standard Support

DVD players today utilize combination audio/video processors that are tuned for supreme video performance and user interactivity, but provide at best marginally acceptable audio quality. While these combination DVD processors support user controls such as video fast-forward, they do not deliver the full potential of DVD audio quality.

In addition, because the combination decoders typically support audio via a hard-wired, gate-level implementation, these chips do not have the programming flexibility to supply multi-standard audio decompression.

"At the price they're going to be paying, early adopter consumers are not going to be satisfied with a second-rate audio reproduction," said Terry Ritchie, vice president of Crystal Consumer Audio Products at Cirrus Logic. "Components like the CS49300 enable our customers to deliver the highest possible audio quality at mass merchandise price points, no matter what the audio coding standard."

Quality Sound

To ensure the highest possible fidelity, the CS49300 is capable of sample rates up to 192 KHz and has full 24-bit output resolution, resulting in near-perfect audio reproduction. This compares to sample rates of 44.1KHz for CD-audio, 48KHz for DVD movies and 96KHz for DVD PCM, and far exceeds the capabilities of analog recording media.

With eight output channels, the chip can support 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 channel output configurations needed to support Dolby/THX surround EX®, or dual zone home theater systems. The device is also capable of supporting robust bass manager modes in accordance with Dolby Labs system requirements and various end user speaker configurations.

More On-Chip Memory

The chip's 0.24 micron geometry has made it possible to incorporate significantly more on-chip memory than competitors, so that the required DTS 64-Kbyte tables can be on-chip, rather than in costly external memory. Increased ROM also eliminates the need to download the AC-3 and DTS program files. (Alternative or updated decoder programs can still be downloaded if needed with the 8K x 24 internal program RAM.)

Additional data memory also enables all-channel speaker delays for DTS, AC-3 and THX. These delays are essential for room synchronization -- the timing of audio events from multiple speakers so that they reach the ears of the end user simultaneously.

Pin and Firmware Compatible With Predecessors

The CS49300 is implemented in a space saving 44-pin PLCC package that is pin-compatible with its Crystal predecessors, the CS492x series (4923/24/25/26/27/29). In addition, its firmware is a superset of the existing firmware, which means that it is extremely easy for customers to transition to the new higher performance platform.

Packaging, Price and Availability

The CS49300 is offered at a unit cost of $15.00 (US) in quantities of 10,000 units. Samples are available immediately, with production quantities available in third quarter of 1999.

Cirrus Logic is a premier supplier of high-performance analog circuits and advanced mixed-signal chip solutions. The company's products, sold under its own name and the Crystal product brand, enable system-level applications in mass storage, audio and precision data conversion. Additional information about Cirrus Logic is available at www.cirrus.com .

Note to Editors: Cirrus Logic is a registered trademark of Cirrus Logic Inc. All other product names noted herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.


Contact:

     Cirrus Logic, Inc.
     Anne Carr, 510/226-2374
     
[email protected]

 or
     UpStart Communications
     Rick Myllenbeck, 510/420-7985
     
[email protected]



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