Equator Reinforces Leadership Position in Enabling Multi-Format, High-Definition Video with Customer Acceptance, New Device Release, New Architecture

10/25/2002 - Equator Technologies, a provider of high-performance, programmable and power-efficient system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors for video streaming and image processing applications, announced it has reinforced its industry leadership in high-performance video processing through rapid customer acceptance, a new addition to the BSPTM-15 device family and a commitment to the continuing development of its next-generation architecture to deliver 2X video performance.

Widely adopted in video-intensive applications in the year following its introduction at Microprocessor Forum 2001, Equator’s flagship BSP-15 family of processors has been shipping in volume since the June 2002 production release date.

Highest Video Performance on a Single Chip
Extending the BSP-15 device family’s first year of commercial success, Equator is now announcing the immediate availability of a new high-end performance device, called BSP-15-500, that sets a new industry performance record. Operating at 500 MHz, the BSP-15-500 device delivers 50 billions of operations per second (GOPs) of video processing, making it the highest-performance, single-chip, video-centric SOC device in terms of total video processing output. This device targets high-end, high-performance applications such as digital head-end systems.

With its VLIW-based (very long instruction word) parallel architecture and on-chip, performance-enhancing co-processors, the currently shipping BSP-15 outperforms all competing solutions in the true measures of video performance: billions of operations per second (50 GOPS), billions of multiply/accumulates per second (8 GMAC/s), billions of SAD per second (16 GSAD/s) and number of simultaneous video decoders (6 MPEG-2 D1 decodes).

With the introduction of the BSP-15-500 device, the BSP-15 family now offers four processing speeds of 300, 350, 400 and 500 MHz. The BSP-15 250, 300 and 400 MHz, which have been shipped in production volumes, are providing today the highest video performance in the market place for various media and video applications. Known for unbeatable performance and 100-percent C/C++ programmability, the BSP-15 processor platform is ideal for rapid development and deployment of video processing systems that deliver multi-format, high-definition video. New and evolving video compression algorithms can be ported to the BSP-15 processor platform using C/C++ and Equator’s optimizing compilers in a fraction of the time required by traditional DSPs using assembly programming. As a result, Equator’s BSP-15 processor platform is running numerous digital media codecs, including MPEG-2, VP-5 low-bit rate decoder, MPEG-4, H.263+, H.264 and the latest Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series, enabling the highest-quality video at the lowest storage and network bandwidth and future-proofing designs against new advancements in codec technology.

The BSP-15 platform also delivers unmatched price performance for high-volume consumer electronic products. As a video-centric SoC, the BSP-15 devices offer a high-performance VLIW core, a number of video processing co-processors and a rich set of IO needed by most video appliances, thereby reducing system design complexity and cost.

Unlike traditional DSP chips that run only media codecs, a single BSP-15 chip can handle all systems software needs — from media codecs to interactive TV middleware to virtual machine for Java and operating systems like Linux — eliminating the need for an additional processor and its cost. A single BSP-15 chip can also replace multiple fixed-function devices, such as hard-wired MPEG chips, reducing systems cost while adding flexibility to adopt any codec to suit the delivery infrastructure.

Customer Acceptance for BSP-15
"BSP-15 chips are at the cores of many of today’s advanced video streaming and video processing systems on both sides of the ‘Internet cloud’ — from the high-performance, broadcast-class professional head-end equipment to the high-volume, low-bit rate broadband client video appliances. In fact, the BSP-15 chip is also the platform of choice for suppliers of advanced media codecs," said Avi Katz, CEO and president of Equator Technologies. "More than 150 customers have designed Equator parts into their systems, and we are very excited to share their success in delivering the highest performance systems."

These customers currently use Equator’s BSP-15 technology to drive new media solutions:

Microsoft chose Equator’s BSP-15 platform to showcase its new Windows Media 9 Series in 720-pixel high-definition at the 2002 International Broadcasters Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam. As the first embedded platform to support the Windows Media 9 Series, the BSP-15 device allows consumer electronics manufacturers the earliest possible access to the latest codec technology, long before hard-wired ASIC solutions exist.

Pace Micro Technology, a world leader in the development of digital home gateways, designed the new BSP-15 device into Pace set-top boxes, the IP-500 and the IP-400 family, to offer customers new revenue-generating services, such as video-on-demand (VOD) based on the latest video technologies (MPEG-4) and the new Windows Media 9 Series. Equator’s fully high-level-programmable approach allowed Pace to lead the industry and show the world’s first Windows Media 9 Series set-top box operating just weeks after the codec release.

Picosoft Co. Ltd., a leading application software developer in Korea, chose the Equator platform for a low-bit rate ADSL VOD set-top box that will be deployed over ADSL networks in Korea and other markets. The new Picosoft set-top box achieves high-quality video at the lowest possible bit rates, delivering DVD-quality video at bit rates lower than one Megabit per second. Network operators can now offer high-quality video to nearly 100 percent of their customers without the significant investment in cable infrastructure previously required. Utilizing a single-BSP design, the Picosoft VOD set-top box can be produced at a fraction of the cost of systems with equivalent functionality and flexibility. VideoTele.com is the world’s leading provider of digital headends (DHEs) for telecommunication companies delivering digital TV over xDSL networks. Helping service providers deliver high-quality home entertainment services over cable, fiber and xDSL networks, VideoTele.com chose the BSP-15 device for use in its AstriaTM platform, which processes multiple channels of video from satellite signals in real-time. The high performance of the Equator chip has enabled VideoTele.com to use an array of these processors in a single system to deliver more channels and reduce the per-channel cost for the service providers delivering video over its customers’ broadband access networks.

Next-Generation Leadership
To maintain its technology leadership in delivering the highest-performing solutions to customers, Equator is committed to the development of a new processor architecture through 2003 that will double video processing output. This new processor architecture will be released in early 2004.

Equator CTO John O’Donnell sums up the responsibility of being an industry leader in terms of creating progress: "Having pioneered the now widely-adopted high-performance VLIW architecture, which is used as the basis of most high-performance DSP chips, Equator’s core design team is poised to take another step forward for customers with a new chip architecture that will provide them with more decisive performance advantage for years to come."

About Equator Technologies
Equator Technologies is a leading provider of high-performance, programmable, power-efficient system-on-a-chip processors designed for video streaming and image processing applications across a wide range of consumer and enterprise end markets. Equator offers the BSP family of Broadband Signal Processor chips, the iMMediaTools® software development toolkit, media libraries, and reference platforms for development and deployment of video streaming and video processing systems. With more than 150 customers worldwide, Equator provides solutions to the digital media, digital video communications, video security and surveillance, digital imaging, and automotive video markets. Based on a high-performance VLIW core and optimized for video processing, the BSP-15 family of chips delivers up to 50 GOPS of video processing power. Utilizing Equator’s optimizing compiler technology, BSP-15 chips are 100 percent programmable in C/C++, enabling rapid deployment and field upgradeability of new applications and devices. A software programmable BSP-15 chip can replace multiple fixed-function ASICs, thereby reducing both complexity and cost of system designs. Winner of the Fabless Semiconductor Association’s "2001 Best Financial Performer - Private Company" award and selected by Cahners Research as the top private company of the 30 best small electronics companies, Equator is a recognized leader in video processing solutions. Founded in 1996, Equator is a privately held company headquartered in Campbell, California, with additional offices worldwide.

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