SoftConnex and Planetweb Join Forces to Develop USB-Compliant Platform for Interoperability of Home Entertainment Applications

6/28/2002 - The leading developer of digital entertainment applications for DVD players and other consumer electronics devices is joining forces with the leading provider of Universal Serial Bus (USB) software solutions to create the first integrated platform for interoperability of multimedia products comprising the next-generation digital living room.

Planetweb Inc, Redwood Shores, Calif., which provides such applications as a digital photo manager, digital audio manager and DVD enhanced content viewer, will be able to offer OEM customers the added value of compliance with the USB standard to enable direct connectivity of DVD players with printers, digital cameras, MP3 players and other consumer electronics.

SoftConnex Technologies, Inc, Fremont, Calif., the leading provider of USB software solutions for embedded systems, including a wide variety of drivers and support for multiple CPUs, operating systems and controllers, sees the partnership as a continuing validation of embedded USB, according to Jim Gilbert, vice president of marketing and business development at SoftConnex. "Working at the applications level, Planetweb is in an excellent position to showcase for both OEMs and consumers the benefits of direct data transfer between a wide range of electronics products," he said.

With the joint solution, manufacturers can offer consumers the ability to transfer photo and music files via USB between digital cameras, photo scanners, MP3 players and DVD players, for example. By integrating SoftConnex support with its applications, Planetweb is adding a broad range of USB capabilities to complement its digital entertainment applications across multiple platforms, providing access to an unprecedented number of devices, according to Gilbert.

"For consumers to truly embrace DVD players and other key devices as the center of digital home entertainment, they need to be able to connect to portable media such as digital cameras and music players," said Jeff Blanc, vice president of marketing at Planetweb. "In addition to the enhanced functionality provided by this partnership, we expect the integration effort to reduce the time to market for manufacturers."

USB has become nearly ubiquitous in the digital camera market. According to In-Stat/MDR, in 2001, 70 percent of the U.S. installed base of 18.8 million digital cameras came with USB ports for data transfer, and that number is expected to reach 87 percent of the 54.5 million cameras by 2006. Portable digital music players are also expected to grow significantly from about 7.2 million unit shipments in 2002 to almost 30 million in 2006.

About SoftConnex
SoftConnex Technologies, Inc., based in Fremont, CA, delivers the most complete USB software solution for the embedded market. The company’s flagship product, USBLink Host, provides the broadest platform support and most comprehensive collection of class drivers currently available, as evidenced by its support for Bluetooth and 802.11b baseband modules, MP3 players, digital still and video cameras, printers, mass storage devices, audio devices and ACM/ECM communication devices. SoftConnex also distinguishes itself with its comprehensive support for operating systems, such as VxWorks, Linux, Symbian OS, LynxOS, ThreadX and Nucleus, as well as host controllers from leading chip suppliers, including TransDimension, NEC, Agere Systems, Cypress Semiconductors and Philips Semiconductors. For more information about SoftConnex and the entire USBLink product suite, please visit

About Planetweb, Inc.
Planetweb is the leading developer of consumer electronics software applications and services for OEMs and silicon chip manufacturers worldwide. These applications and services bring popular features and functionality to digital entertainment devices in the living room, including DVD players, game consoles, set-top boxes and interactive televisions. Planetweb is the only company offering a full suite of offline and online applications, including the Digital Photo Manager(TM), Digital Audio Manager(TM), DVD-ROM Content Viewer and an Internet Communications package, which make consumer electronics devices more attractive to consumers. Planetweb products are designed to be quick and easy for manufacturers to implement and can be customized and ported to any hardware platform, even those without an operating system. Planetweb®, a privately held company, is headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, and has offices in Tokyo, Japan and London, England. Planetweb is located on the Internet at

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