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September 28, 1998

HITACHI, CANON ADD $10M MORE TO EQUATOR’S COFFERS

By CBR Staff Writer

Equator Technologies Inc, based in Seattle, Washington, has won investments totaling $10m from Hitachi Ltd and Canon Inc. The investments take the firm’s total equity funding to $40m to date. Equator is working on programmable processors aimed at imaging and high-end digital entertainment markets, bringing the worlds of television and the PC together. Equator has what it calls a programmable processor platform under development, which can be used across a variety of product lines, such as high-end test equipment. digital VCRs, digital TVs, set-top boxes, office automation equipment and 3D games. It aims to establish a cheaper, fully programmable alternative to fixed function consumer electronic devices, decreasing manufacturing costs and increasing flexibility, it says. Current media chips and digital signal processors mostly require programming in assembly language or machine code, or need expensive custom ASIC chips. Equator has developed C-level language tools for its media platform. The company has been working with Hitachi for two years on the development of a media processor, and will use Hitachi’s AFD All format decoding algorithm to support all 18 of the US Advanced Television Systems Committee ATSC formats.

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