Zoran debuts motion JPEG image compression chip set; chip set targets desktop video editing and video conferencing applications; delivers highest performance attainable for ISA-bus PCs

Zoran debuts motion JPEG image compression chip set; chip set targets desktop video editing and video conferencing applications; delivers highest performance attainable for ISA-bus PCs

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 24, 1995–Zoran Corporation today announced immediate availability of the 055 Motion JPEG Multimedia Chip Set, enabling technology for high quality, cost-effective desktop video editing and video conferencing applications. Using Motion JPEG compression technology for capture and playback of full motion video in real time, the 055 Chip Set provides the most compact, highest performance solution available for the large installed base of ISA-bus PCs.

“Zoran’s aim is to provide the best solutions available for Motion JPEG capture and playback on the personal computer,” said Dr. Levy Gerzberg, President and CEO of Zoran Corporation. “Now that Motion JPEG has become the de facto standard for video editing, and high speed networks are emerging that support use of Motion JPEG for high quality video conferencing, we are convinced that the 055 Chip Set will play a central role in serving this marketplace.”

055 Chip Set Provides Most Compact, Cost-Effective Solution for PC Video Capture

The 055 Chip Set supports real-time capture and playback of full screen, full motion NTSC and PAL video in both CCIR 601 and square pixel formats. Ideal for video editing systems, the 055 Chip Set performs JPEG image compression/expansion on each individual video frame. With the addition of external memory, the 055 Chip Set provides a compact, complete solution for Motion JPEG video compression/expansion in the PC environment. Zoran provides industry standard Video-for-Windows software drivers and reference design boards for the 055 Chip Set.

The 055 Chip Set consists of the ZR36050 JPEG Image Compression Processor and the ZR36055 Motion JPEG Controller. The ZR36050 JPEG Image Processor performs JPEG baseline image compression/expansion in real-time on each individual frame of the video. The ZR36055 Motion JPEG Controller performs all the control and interface functions, including control of the ZR36050, control of pixel and compressed code memories, and interfaces for a video decoder, video encoder, and overlay processor. The ZR36055 also includes an ISA bus interface and performs the raster-to-block conversion function as required by the JPEG algorithm.

Key to the high-quality image compression of the 055 Chip Set is Zoran’s unique bit rate control mechanism, which guarantees a constant data rate across the PC bus or communications network over which the compressed data is being transferred. Competing solutions do not implement the bit rate control mechanism and may drop frames or over-compress each frame of the video, resulting in poor quality or even system crashes. Zoran’s bit rate control mechanism also guarantees that each compressed frame of the video occupies a fixed memory size, making the editing of video sequences straightforward. “Bit rate control is one of the primary reasons the 055 Chip Set provides the best performance possible for an ISA-bus, Motion JPEG add-in card,” said Isaac Shenberg, Zoran vice-president of sales and marketing. “This capability allows our customers to bring to the desktop the quality found so far only in high-end video editing systems but at a fraction of the cost. This will result in numerous new and exciting products in the near future.” Leading video editing system manufacturers who have previously designed Zoran JPEG devices into their products include Fast Multimedia, Radius, Sony and others.

High Quality Video Conferencing Now Possible Using Motion JPEG over ATM

Until now, solutions for desktop video conferencing suffered from two formidable disadvantages: poor video quality and high cost. Networks simply did not have the bandwidth, even with compression, to support video of sufficient quality to be acceptable to users. None of the standards provided an adequate solution. However, today, with the emergence of high speed networking capability such as provided by Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology, the network bottleneck is being overcome. High quality video conferencing can be realized by using Motion JPEG video compression over high speed, cost effective ATM networks. “The price barrier for getting ATM to the desktop has been shattered,” said Ralph Ungermann, CEO of First Virtual Corporation, a leading supplier of ATM desktop multimedia networking solutions. “Coupled with the Motion JPEG compression technology supplied by Zoran, high quality video conferencing at a reasonable price is now possible.” Zoran Corporation is collaborating with First Virtual Corporation to develop this application.

Motion JPEG and MPEG All-in-One Boards Made Economical

A complete Motion JPEG compression core consists of just the 055 Chip Set, a small strip buffer (one or two SRAM) and a compressed code buffer (a single VRAM). With the addition of a video decoder, this compression core can be combined with MPEG playback board hardware to provide a low-cost “all-in-one” PC multimedia add-in board capable of Motion JPEG capture/playback and MPEG playback. Since hardware resources are shared (overlay device and associated memory, etc.), the cost of such a combined solution is less than that if the functions are provided separately. Bundling of off the shelf transcoding software for conversion from JPEG to MPEG enables development of a low-cost MPEG authoring system.

Price and Availability

The 055 Motion JPEG Multimedia Chip Set (ZR36055 & ZR36050) is available immediately. Pricing for quantities of 10,000 is $94, $89 and $65 for the for the 29.5 MHz, 27 MHz and 21 MHz versions, respectively. The 055 Chip Set Reference Design Developer’s Kit is available now for $1,995. Video-for-Windows software drivers are provided with the developer’s kit.

Reader Contact

Zoran Corporation is located at 1705 Wyatt Drive, Santa Clara, Calif. 95054. Contact: Steven Brook, Product Marketing Manager, at 408/986-1314, ext. 333.

About Zoran

Zoran Corporation designs, manufactures and markets very large scale (VLSI) integrated circuit products for high performance, low-cost digital video and audio compression applications. Markets for Zoran devices include multimedia computers, video editing, video conferencing, scanners, printers, digital cameras, cable TV, and digital audio systems. Zoran is committed to continued development of its family of video and audio compression devices. This includes JPEG codecs, MPEG video decoders, and AC-3 and MPEG audio compression devices for emerging multimedia and consumer markets. Zoran is collaborating in the development of these and other products with Fuji Film Microdevices, Ltd., of Japan. Established in 1983, Zoran is a privately held company with headquarters in Santa Clara, California, and operations in Haifa, Israel.

CONTACT: Zoran Corporation, Santa Clara

Steven Brook, 408/986-1314, ext. 333

COPYRIGHT 1995 Business Wire

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