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September 17, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:42pm

INNOVACOM PLANS TO TOPPLE C-CUBE WITH MPEG -2 ENCODER

By CBR Staff Writer

Santa Clara, California based Innovacom Inc reckons that it can topple C-Cube’s supremacy in the MPEG-2 chip market with a single-chip MPEG -2 encoder scheduled for shipment in the first quarter of next year. The chip to be used in satellite, cable, broadcast and consumer applications will hit the market priced a good 30% under C-Cube’s solution, the company claims. C-Cube does its encoding in microcode which is a flexible architecture if standards keep changing but MPEG-2 is pretty much carved in stone now, said Ben Gibson a spokesperson for the company. We’ve put together an integrated silicon circuit which is very MPEG-2 specific. It has some microcode but only a single dye that does all compression in the chip. According to Gibson Innovacom’s chip is 200 times as powerful as today’s fastest Pentiums. 256 parallel processors within the chip cut the picture up into 256 blocks and each block has its own motion estimation, he said. Because the algorithm is so acute it gives very high quality video output. All calculation for video compression is done at a rate of half a trillion compressions per second. John Cassel, industry analyst at researchers Dataquest, reckons C-Cube which last month announced a low cost single chip MPEG-2 codec called Dvx scheduled for volume shipment in the fourth quarter of this year, still has an important march on the market. Innovacom has got some good alliances with Mitsubishi and ESS technology, one of C-Cube’s prime competitors in the MPEG-1 decoder market. But they’re coming at things a little bit behind C-Cube. I’ve seen a lot of promises in MPEG-2 encoding and often the reality doesn’t meet the promise. At least C-Cube has a working history of making good on what it offer.

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