Sigma's new chip enables manufacturers to
bring video into the palm of your hand
MILPITAS, Calif., - February, 2004 -
Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM), a leader in digital media processing for consumer
appliances, today announced the EM8510, a new media processor for the growing portable and
low-power device market. Sigma's new EM8510 decoder chip, based on the company's
award-winning REALmagic® Video Technology, enables cost-effective solutions for consumer
appliances such as portable media players, portable DVD players and other power critical
Demand For Portable Players
With ongoing technology improvements in media compression, wireless communications, and
small form-factor storage, portable media players have quickly become the media-on-the-go
equivalent of the cell phone. This trend has already occurred in the audio segment with a
plethora of devices now available. Hand-held players have moved from the niche market to
the mainstream, permitting consumers to transfer music from their computers and play it
on-the-go. Industry analysts predict that at the end of 2001, only 4.5 million households
had an Internet audio player, but falling prices and increasingly tech-savvy consumers
will lead to a market expansion of sales of 27 million devices in 2007 - making portable
audio devices a $3.4 billion business.
New advanced compression schemes are
enabling the addition of movies, personal video, and photos in addition to audio, to a
palm-sized portable media player. Linked to the right provider services, this translates
into videos on-the-go, for use on airplanes, in hotels, within the home and for family
road trips. As prices decrease, portable DVD players are also quickly replacing the TV/VCR
combo as the portable of choice for taking a movie collection on the road.
In-Stat/MDR, the high-tech market
research firm, forecasts that the total available market for portable audio/video players
will grow from 4.9 million units in 2003 to 15.4 million in 2007.
"Sigma's foray into the portable
space takes them into a high-growth market with upside potential," said Michelle
Abraham, Senior Analyst for In-Stat/MDR's Converging Markets & Technologies Group.
"From our research we have also found that portable DVD player shipments will reach
13 million units in 2007."
"The constantly changing landscape
of digital entertainment offers continued opportunities for Sigma's strengths," said
Ken Lowe, VP of strategic marketing. "Sigma's leading technology and ability to
quickly seize market opportunities are propelling the company ahead in consumer
EM8510 Media Processor
Sigma's new EM8510 media processor brings an enhanced feature set to the portable arena
through improved integration with lower power dissipation. Based on a low voltage process
and proprietary power control logic, the EM8510 provides a complete one-chip decoder
solution using less than 500 milliwatts of power. This translates into substantial battery
life improvements for portable media players. The chip also supports direct TV output,
enabling portable players to connect to existing televisions in the home or hotel.
The EM8510 also sports a new,
high-performance audio DSP, capable of decoding virtually any audio standard. This
includes important standards such as MPEG-1 or -2 audio, MP3, WMA, Dolby AC3, DVD-audio
and others. Furthermore, the field upgradeable capabilities allow this chip to download
new audio codecs when they become available in the future. The EM8510 provides drop-in
compatibility to designs based on the EM8500, making quick work of designing new portable
players with full video features, longer battery life and increased audio support.
Based on the company's award-winning
REALmagic® Video Technology, the EM8510 provides the highest quality possible from
digital media, including MPEG-4, MPEG-2 and DVD formats. Unique features offered by the
EM8510 family include analog YPbPr/RGB video outputs with optional scaling up to HDTV
resolution, video over IP, and support for DVI/HDCP or LCD displays. A wide variety of
media types are supported, accessible through a powerful navigation engine.
The EM8510 media processors will be sold through Sigma's direct sales force.
Samples will be available in March with production scheduled for May.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements
about the projected timing and extent of customer shipments as well as the expected use of
Sigma's MPEG decoder products. Actual results could vary from those projected in the
forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including worldwide economic
conditions, changes in the customer's ability or desire to complete the roll-out, consumer
reaction to the new products and services being offered, the ability of Sigma to deliver
sufficient quantity and quality of MPEG decoder chips, prices for the Sigma chips,
alternative offerings by competitors, and the ability of the parties to work together
successfully to achieve the rollout.
About Sigma Designs, Inc.
Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) specializes in silicon-based MPEG decoding for
streaming video, progressive DVD playback, and advanced digital set-top boxes. The
company's award-winning REALmagic® Video Streaming Technology is used in both commercial
and consumer applications providing highly integrated solutions for high-quality decoding
of MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., the company also has
sales offices in China, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. For more information,
please visit the company's web site at www.sigmadesigns.com
REALmagic and Sigma Designs are
registered trademarks of Sigma Designs. All other products and companies referred to
herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.