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February 2, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

The new MediaStream accelerator chip set from San Diego, California-based Brooktree Corp enables personal computers to output full-fidelity, all-digital sound directly to consumer audio devices such as digital audio tape and CD players. Targeted at mainstream personal computers, the BtV MediaStream accelerator is an all-in-one chip set to enable high-performance graphics, S-DOS-games-compatible 16-bit audio or full-digital sound, plus up to full-screen, 1,280 by 1,024 graphics and 30 frames-per-second video windows. It has three chips, a packet-based multimedia-handling architecture, 1Mb frame buffer, a single suite of software drivers, and one connection to the Peripheral Component Interface or VL bus. The MediaPacket architecture converts all multimedia data input, including sound, into data packets that are transmitted and processed on a single, high-speed local bus. The heart of the BtV MediaStream is the BtV2115 MediaStream Controller accelerator engine plus an audio input-output controller chip and the PACDAC Packetised Data Digital to Analogue Converter with special graphics and video-mixing capabilities. By placing this horsepower in the back end of the MediaStream subsystem in the PACDAC, video can remain in its smallest, native format until after it has passed through the MediaBuffer, helping to reduce memory, bandwidth and quality problems. The BtV2115 works closely over a high-speed internal bus with a central, unified frame buffer called the MediaBuffer, which catches each of the various data types. Video-capture capabilities are made possible with the optional addition of Brooktree’s new BtV VideoStream decoder. In this mode, the BtV MediaStream subsystem supports all NTSC/PAL/S-video sources. The BtV MediaStream chip set will be available in the third quarter for $95 per set.

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