mp3 SURROUND Set for Launch - Fraunhofer IIS, Thomson, and Agere Systems Unveil - Free mp3 SURROUND Evaluation Download
Full Versions Of mp3 SURROUND Encoder And Decoder
Available at http://www.mp3surround-format.com/
Paris, December 2, 2004 - Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS)
today announced that mp3, the world's most popular audio compression format,
goes multi-channel. Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, inventors
of mp3, together with Thomson, co-inventors of mp3 and exclusive licensing
representative for their mp3 patents and software, and Agere Systems (NYSE:
AGR.A, AGR.B), have joined to launch mp3 SURROUND into the consumer and
commercial markets. This technology will enable 5.1 channels surround-quality
sound for a broad spectrum of applications including web-based music
distribution, broadcasting systems, PC-related audiovisual or gaming
applications, consumer electronics and automotive systems.
SURROUND supports high-quality multi-channel sound at bit rates comparable
to those currently used to encode stereo mp3 material, resulting in files half
the size of common compressed surround formats. At the same time, the new format
offers complete backward compatibility to any existing mp3 software and hardware
Attracting attention at several recent industry events, the new
mp3 SURROUND format has become eagerly anticipated by the vast mp3 user
community. The web site http://www.mp3surround-format.com/ now provides users
immediate download access to free mp3 SURROUND evaluation software,
demo samples and detailed technology information.
Thomson, which has
partnered with Fraunhofer IIS since the codec's launch in 1992, is adding
Fraunhofer Institute's new mp3 SURROUND technology to its licensing
"The free mp3 surround evaluation software will enable everyone
to test the latest feature of the digital audio standard. We encourage music
artists, engineers and producers to experience this new multichannel audio
format and realize the benefits of its portability and backward compatibility,"
said Henri Linde, Vice President, Growth Initiatives, Audio & mp3 program of
the Intellectual Property and Licensing unit for Thomson.
encoder enables the creation of mp3 SURROUND files out of 5 or
6-channel wav material. The Fraunhofer IIS mp3 SURROUND player is
capable of decoding and playing back the surround format's files as well as
stereo mp3 material. This software-only solution runs on any standard PC with
multi-channel audio capabilities.
mp3 SURROUND was developed by
Fraunhofer IIS in collaboration with Agere Systems. Using a psychoacoustic
technique called binaural cue coding, mp3 SURROUND captures the spatial image
information of multi-channel sound. This method is critical in preserving the
compact file size that mp3 users expect.
"We are delighted to advance mp3
into the area of multi-channel audio, with the help of Agere Systems. As
surround sound is increasingly gaining importance in the marketplace, we are
confident that mp3 SURROUND will attract the attention of music
production professionals and consumers alike," said Juergen Herre, Chief
Executive Scientist at Fraunhofer IIS.
"Together, Fraunhofer IIS and
Agere are developing technology that will contribute to the delivery of a
compelling compressed multi-channel audio solution into the marketplace," said
Peter Kroon, chief multimedia architect for Agere's Mobility business. "This
work is part of Agere's overall commitment to provide advanced multimedia
technology that enables consumers to stay connected."
period of the mp3 SURROUND encoder will expire on the 31st of December
2005, while the Fraunhofer IIS player will continue to remain fully functional.
The use of the software is allowed for personal and non-commercial purposes
only. Professionals can license mp3 SURROUND from Thomson at http://www.mp3licensing.com/.
About Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS,
today with 450 staff members, reached international recognition with the
development of the audio codec MPEG Layer-3. It provides research services on
contract basis and technology licensing. Research topics are: Audio and video
source coding, digital radio broadcasting systems, analog and digital integrated
circuits, tools for design automation, high-speed camera systems, industrial and
medical vision systems, wireless, wired and optical networks, nanofocus X-ray
technology, and communications technology in transport and logistics. For more
information visit http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/.
About Agere Systems
Agere Systems is a global
leader in semiconductors for storage, wireless data, and public and enterprise
networks. The company's chips and software power a broad range of computing and
communications applications, from cell phones, PCs, PDAs, hard disk drives and
gaming devices to the world's most sophisticated wireless and wireline networks.
Agere's customers include the top manufacturers of consumer electronics,
communications and computing equipment. Agere's products connect people to
information and entertainment at home, at work and on the road -- making
personal broadband a reality. More information on Agere is available at its
About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides
technology, systems and services to help its Media & Entertainment clients -
content creators, content distributors and users of its technology - realize
their business goals and optimise their performance in a rapidly changing
technology environment. The Group intends to become the preferred partner to the
Media & Entertainment industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA
and THOMSON brands. For more information: www.thomson.net/.
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