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First Embedded Implementations of MPEG Surround Available from Fraunhofer IIS

MPEG Surround brings universal surround sound to any digital broadcasting system in an easy and cost efficient way. It allows high quality surround sound at low bit rates and avoids simulcasting of stereo and surround programs while being compatible with mono and stereo receivers. Fraunhofer IIS presents the world’s first MPEG Surround decoder implementations on fixed-point processors from Analog Devices and Freescale.

Shown this week at the ARM Developers’ Conference in Santa Clara and the AES Convention in New York, Fraunhofer’s Core Design Kits (CDK) enable manufacturers of broadcasting equipment and consumer electronics to efficiently integrate MPEG Surround into their products. The MPEG Surround CDK, running on fixed- and floating-point DSP, will be available for a large number of embedded processors from all major suppliers including any ARM or MIPS powered platform as well as Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, and other processors. At the ARM Developers’ Conference, booth 605, and the AES Convention, demo room 2D03, an ARM powered Freescale board and an Analog Devices Blackfin DSP will be used as an example for MPEG Surround real-time playback.

Harald Popp, head of the Multimedia Realtime Systems department at Fraunhofer IIS, says: “With MPEG Surround, any digital broadcasting system can be extended to deliver high quality surround sound. This attractive addition to broadcasting services allows data rates similar to existing stereo transmissions, avoids simulcasting of stereo and surround programs and is fully backward compatible with existing receivers. Our state-of-the-art implementations will facilitate a fast market entry of this stunning new surround technology.”

Combined with a core audio codec such as MPEG-4 AAC, MPEG-4 HE-AAC or MPEG-1 Layer-2, MPEG Surround considerably reduces bitrate requirements for high-quality multi-channel audio compression. MPEG Surround is the ideal choice for a broad spectrum of applications, including digital radio and TV broadcasting, mobile entertainment, IPTV and Internet music distribution.

Founded in 1985 the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, today with 480 staff members, ranks first among the Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. With the development of the audio coding method MP3, Fraunhofer IIS has reached worldwide recognition.

It provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing.

The research topics are: Audio and video source coding, multimedia realtime systems, digital radio broadcasting and digital cinema systems, integrated circuits and sensor systems, design automation, wireless, wired and optical networks, localization and navigation, imaging systems and nanofocus X-ray technology, high-speed cameras, medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport and logistics.

The budget of 58 million Euro is mainly financed by projects from industry, the service sector and public authorities. Less than 20 percent of the budget is subsidized by federal and state funds.

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