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Microsoft and Texas Instruments Unveil OMAP Wireless Processor Support for Windows Media
TI DSP-based OMAP Architecture To Accelerate Windows Media Audio and Video Support On 2.5 and 3G Wireless Handsets and Mobile Internet Appliances
Dallas and Redmond, WA (Feb. 20, 2001) -- In a move to deliver advanced streaming multimedia to the next generation of wireless handsets and mobile Internet appliances, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) and Microsoft Corp. today announced a collaboration to support Windows Media(tm) Audio, Video and digital rights management (DRM) technology on TI's DSP-based OMAP(tm) processors. Building on TI's ultra-low DSP-based OMAP architecture, TI and Microsoft will enable wireless phone manufacturers to easily design the next generation of digital-media-enabled wireless devices with turnkey Windows Media Audio and Video format support, and provide new digital-media-based wireless services. TI's OMAP architecture is quickly becoming the de facto standard applications platform for 2.5G and 3G wireless Internet appliances, while Windows Media is quickly becoming the leading choice for wireless audio and video delivery.
"Windows Media is a leader in offering high-quality audio and video using very small bandwidth or file sizes," said Alain Mutricy, director of the Wireless Business Unit at TI. "Extending integrated Windows Media Audio and Video support on our DSP-based OMAP processors will help enable a new wireless age for rich media services."
As wireless networks throughout the world are upgraded to enable the delivery of high-speed, two-way data, customers will be able to access new wireless digital media services using wireless phones and other new devices. Windows Media is already being used in this way in Japan. In December 2000, NTT DoCoMo Inc. launched the first commercial service that uses Windows Media to deliver streamed audio and video to cellular phones via a high-speed Personal Handyphone System (PHS) network. These kinds of new Internet-based services will enable consumers to send and receive personal digital audio and video, and access downloaded and streamed digital music, Internet radio, short subject video, movie trailers, news clips, financial information and weather reports.
"Texas Instruments is a pioneer in offering innovations in processing power and low-power consumption that fuel wireless handsets and advanced mobile computing devices," said Dave Fester, general manager, Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "We are delighted that TI sees the breakthrough quality of Windows Media as a key asset to enable wireless digital media for consumers and businesses."
TI's support of Windows Media, first announced in 1999, accelerated the adoption among the consumer electronics industry of the Windows Media Format and DRM technology, which offers consumers secure CD-quality music at half the file size of MP3. TI's native support of Windows Media and DRM on its TMS320C5000 platform of programmable DSPs helped fuel the dramatic acceptance of Windows Media by leading manufacturers of portable music players during the past year. Windows Media is now supported on more than 60 consumer devices, ranging from portable music players to digital home stereos.
As part of the collaboration, TI will extend support for the Windows Media Audio and Video formats and digital rights management technology on TI's high-performance, DSP-based OMAP architecture. TI's OMAP processor is an applications engine that makes real-time communications-based technologies a reality in wireless handsets and advanced mobile computing devices.
Unveiled in May 1999, TI's DSP-based OMAP architecture delivers advanced wireless Internet and multimedia functionality without compromising the battery life essential to wireless communications devices such as digital wireless handsets, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and Internet audio devices. TI's OMAP architecture is quickly becoming the de facto standard applications platform for 2.5G and 3G with public endorsements by manufacturers such as Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Handspring.
Today's announcement illustrates the industry's rapid embrace of Windows Media for the wireless delivery of streaming and downloadable music and video. Windows Media delivers the highest-quality audio and video at any bandwidth and hits critical thresholds for wireless delivery. The Windows Media Audio 8 beta release, announced in December, delivers FM-quality sound at modem dial-up rates and is ideally suited for the GPRS networks being built today in Europe and the United States. As networks are upgraded to the 3G (i.e., UMTS) standard, the Windows Media Video 8 beta, also announced in December, will enable delivery of the highest-quality mobile video experience. The Windows Media Video 8 beta delivers near-VHS-quality video at rates as low as 250 Kbps and near-DVD-quality video at rates as low as 500 Kbps.
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Window Media is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
OMAP and TMS320C5000 are registered trademarks of Texas Instruments Incorporated.