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October 1998 -  For immediate release ...


THAT Certifies Rockwell's Fusion Decoder Chip as
the First All-Digital Implementation of "dbx" Noise Reduction Technology

  Rockwell licenses dbx noise-reduction technology from THAT Corporation for
use with its Fusion video-decoder chip in stereo PC TV applications

Rockwell's Bt879 Fusion decoder chip

Marborough , MA - THAT Corporation announced today that it has licensed its dbx-tv® noise reduction technology to Rockwell Semiconductor Systems for use in Rockwell's Fusion™ single-chip media processors, providing the first all-digital stereo TV decoder for PC video and television cards. THAT's certification of Rockwell's Bt879 Fusion chip is an important step towards achieving convergence of the television and PC, a goal of many leading players in the PC industry.

"We're seeing a new dynamic in the PC market where the attachment of video and PC television is growing at a tremendous rate," said John Graham, director of marketing for Rockwell's Digital Infotainment Division. "We believe that this is driven largely by Microsoft's Web TV for Windows initiative, a TV viewer application which is an integral part of Windows® 98. Now that our Fusion media processor chip has received dbx certification from THAT corporation, the industry has taken another incremental step toward making quality stereo television on the PC a reality."

The U.S. stereo TV standard requires the use of dbx-tv noise reduction technology for proper reproduction of the stereo audio signal. Until the advent of Rockwell's Fusion chip, PC TV card manufacturers have had to use one or more external chips that add significant cost to their products. With Rockwell's Fusion device, the need for external hardware is eliminated, significantly reducing the product cost both to retail card makers and PC OEMs.

"There are some real advantages to an all-digital solution," said Win Craft, vice president of marketing and sales, THAT Corporation. "These advantages include the need for fewer adjustments and fewer external components than with most analog solutions. And because today's surround-sound systems need to be fed with a quality stereo signal, a properly designed stereo TV decoder is more important than ever."

Rockwell's Fusion chip, the Bt879, is the lowest-cost, most easily integrated broadcast media-capture solution for today's mainstream PCs. Fusion provides the technology for applications such as video conferencing, video capture, video email, video and still editing, stereo PC TV, and data services.

Other features of the Fusion device include NTSC/PAL/SECAM video, a 5-tap vertical filter, support for multiple composite and S-Video inputs, a video scaler, and image peaking. The Fusion family also supports the digital video standard CCIR656 and has the ability to capture and decode Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) data. This allows it to decode WST (Teletext) or NABTS (Intel's Intercast), and closed-captioning data.

Fusion driver support includes both Windows®95 and Windows 98. The Windows 95/98 VxD Software Developer's Kit (SDK) contains a complete suite of software drivers, plus an I2C port for connectivity to external devices such as tuners and digital cameras. Stereo TV audio software support will be included in the next release of the Windows 95/98 VxD SDK in early 1999. The Windows 98 WDM SDK includes a WDM video driver and support for NTSC and PAL standards . WDM support for stereo TV audio will become available upon Microsoft's completion of Direct Show streaming audio development for NT 5.0.

Samples of the Fusion chip Bt879 are available now.

For complete information on dbx noise reduction technology visit the dbx-tv site.

About THAT Corporation
THAT Corporation, founded in 1989, designs and sells high-performance analog integrated circuits for professional audio manufacturers. THAT’s ICs include analog input and output stages, digitally controlled low-noise preamplifiers, Analog Engines® and its original line of voltage-controlled amplifiers (VCAs) – all used throughout the pro audio industry. The company also licenses patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property to the TV broadcast and reception industries. Licensed products include the dbx-tv® Total™ series of audio enhancement technology and digital implementations of legacy TV audio receiver standards. The company is headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts, with offices in Milpitas, California.

For more information, contact:
  THAT Corporation, 45 Sumner Street, Milford, MA 01757-1656 , USA
  Telephone: +1 (508) 478-9200; Fax +1 (508) 478-0990

Editorial Contact:
  Ken Nevard, IC Marketing Manager
  Tel: +1 (508) 478-9200 x108


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