COMPUTEX TAIPEI, TAIWAN: ARC International announced its latest Sound-to-Silicon solution aimed at the new category of broadband-based multimedia device, the Media Phone, which is predicted to replace telephone handsets and be the “fourth screen in the home.”
The Media Phone is being heralded as one of the hottest new devices for consumers, and combines DECT cordless speakerphone technology with direct access to Internet-based entertainment and applications via a color touch screen.ARC’s new solution provides SoC partners and OEMs with a cost effective platform for quickly entering and gaining share of the fast-growing Media Phone market. It includes ARC’s award-winning Sonic Focus audio enrichment software, full range of codecs, and development tools that are optimized for ARC’s latest AS 211 SFX Audio Subsystem IP.
This announcement is one of two new Sound-to-Silicon solutions ARC introduced at the Computex Exhibition in Taiwan.
Media Phones are aimed at enterprise and home use and, according to In-Stat, will account for up to $8 billion in annual revenue worldwide by 2013. These diverse phones are very appealing to broadband operators as they can bring extended revenue streams in addition to just voice and data delivery.
Media Phones are always on and connected, so consumers can instantly get weather reports, news, recipes, directory services and much more. Media Phones can also access multimedia entertainment such as video, movie clips and music, plus order food, theatre tickets and read emails, make VoIP calls and even be used as a digital picture frame.
ARC’s Media Phone solution
Today’s Media Phones are based on high cost, generic platforms that limit differentiation of the end device and do little to reduce manufacturing expense. ARC’s new Media Phone solution is vertically integrated to reduce design effort and cost and can be tailored to provide a signature sound that is unique to each product.
Furthermore, ARC’s Sonic Focus software that is an integral part of the solution helps lower bill-of-materials (BoM) cost by enabling fewer and less expensive audio components to be used while still maintaining the best overall audio quality.To the consumer music, movies, and games sound fuller and richer, and voices sound clearer and crisper when making VoIP or standard telephone calls.
Media Phone solution includes:
* The latest version of Sonic Focus audio enrichment software that runs nearly 50 percent faster in embedded applications.
* The new configurable AS 211 SFX Subsystem intellectual property (IP) that consumes 30 percent less power on less silicon real estate.
* A new Media Software Framework (MSF) that provides software developers an easy-to-use software API.
* A comprehensive set of software and hardware development tools to turn concept into final product.
* An extensive range of pre-integrated audio and video codecs managed by ARC.
* A reference platform for complete Sound-to-Silicon hardware and software development.
“The Media Phone is one of the most promising new markets in consumer electronics, and is ready to boom. Telephone service providers view the device as a means of injecting new life into the kitchen wall phone,” said Ben Bajarin, senior analyst at Creative Strategies. “The media phone combines the power of a PC with the always-on functionality of the home telephone. ARC has identified a rapidly moving market with their Media Phone Solution and is providing chip companies and OEMs a fast track to entry.”
“The media phone is emerging as the broadband multimedia device that will replace the kitchen phone and provide the fourth screen in the home, joining the PC, TV, and mobile handset,” said Michael Franzi, vice president of worldwide marketing at ARC International.
“ARC’s new Media Phone Solution brings together all of the elements an SoC vendor needs to quickly create a chip to serve this market with the lowest risk and fastest time to market. The resultant chip will be differentiated from other offerings and will provide a significantly enhanced multimedia experience. The OEM can exploit the ARC Sonic Focus component in ARC’s solution, to reduce BoM cost while providing a product that will engage the consumer and help their product stand out against competitors.”
ARC loudness advantage
All of ARC’s Sound-to-Silicon Solutions offer a unique loudness advantage that boosts perceived volume as much as 30 percent with no increase in amplifier power. Documented by renowned independent acoustics experts, ARC’s technology delivers a volume increase of 1.3- to 2.4-dB.
This advantage can further lower an OEM’s BoM cost and reduce power consumption by enabling the volume to be reduced with no perceived reduction in loudness. Lowering power consumption in home applications is becoming increasingly important and can result in better Energy Star ratings. Click here to receive a copy of the white paper documenting the research on ARC’s loudness Advantage.
The new ARC Media Phone Solution is available for immediate licensing by OEMs and semiconductor companies globally. ARC-Based chips are available to OEMs from ARC silicon customers.