MSU Corp, the Milton Keynes, UK-based chip designer and developer of the Slipstream set-top Internet access device (CI No 3,021), has announced the Envoy, a single chip integrated CD controller and decoder. The Envoy chip can operate CD-audio, CD-ROM and provide karaoke effects in a single chip. With the addition of MPEG enhancements, either an external MPEG chip or additional MPEG logic, it will also play Digital Video Disks. Envoy’s on- chip memory controller will drive up to 15Mb of external Dynamic RAM and Static RAM directly the company says. MSU believes it is the only chip of its kind which integrates these multiple functions. The Envoy is based on MSU’s proprietary 32-bit NVP RISC processor, which is designed for embedded applications. MSU chairman Wyn Holloway likens the development of this type of chip to the development of floppy disk controllers during the 1980’s, which started life containing dozens of chips and ended as single chips which also included serial, parallel and other functions. MSU says the Envoy does away with the need for several extra chips, thereby reducing the overall costs for manufacturers. The chip is available for licensing, and the company is in talks with consumer electronics manufacturers that are looking at incorporating the Envoy in future generations of CD players. Holloway said the new chip expands into all CD formats, and the total number of CD players manufactured worldwide is currently around 120 million. Holloway said the company expects the market for the Envoy family to be even greater than for our Slipstream technology.