At the Popkomm 2005, engineers of Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, in partnership with Thomson, present an MP3 Surround hardware player. The decoder, in this case based on ARM chip design, can be implemented into a wide range of home entertainment products including home theater receivers, DVD players and portable audio players.
"The ARM powered MP3 Surround hardware player, developed at Fraunhofer IIS, represents another piece of a puzzle in the new format's development and gives a clear view on upcoming MP3 Surround consumer electronic devices", comments Harald Popp, head of the Multimedia Realtime Systems department at Fraunhofer IIS.
Henri Linde, Vice President Intellectual Property and Licensing Unit for Thomson, is also optimistic: "With the growing popularity of home theater systems, consumers are getting accustomed to experiencing their home entertainment in multi-channel surround sound. We are excited to showcase the benefits of MP3 Surround with this hardware implementation, which paves the way for further product developments by our licensees."
Fraunhofer IIS has worked with Thomson's Intellectual Property and Licensing unit to offer optimized MP3 Surround decoder software for all popular processor platforms such as ARM, MIPS, Texas Instruments, Analog Devices and many more.
The technology enables 5.1 channel surround-quality sound for web-based music distribution, broadcasting systems, PC-related audiovisual or gaming applications, consumer electronics and automotive systems.
Free demo software has been available for download and consumer use since the initial launch. Earlier this year, DivX announced MP3 Surround support in future releases of their video codec. Last week, MAGIX presented the first MP3 Surround software product targeting a broad consumer group at the IFA in Berlin. With "MAGIX music maker 2006 deLuxe" music can be created and arranged in MP3 Surround.
MP3 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. MP3 Surround was developed by Fraunhofer IIS in collaboration with Agere Systems, introduced in December 2004 and is licensed by Thomson, co-inventors of the MP3 codec.