1/9/2004 - In stride with manufacturer demand for portable audio solutions, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (booth #9011) that it has shipped more than ten million digital signal processors (DSPs) into the portable digital music market. TI´s high performance, low power DSPs target compressed audio applications, including portable players with flash memory or hard disk drive (HDD) storage, cell phones, audio/video (A/V) jukeboxes and MP3-CD players. Building on its proven success over the last four years in the market, TI continues to invest heavily in its portable digital music program and has increased research and development (R&D) resources dedicated to its programmable audio DSPs and reference designs, while developing the most comprehensive suite of software available on the market.
"The portable audio hardware market continues to grow, in conjunction with increasing usage of digital content by mass market music consumers," said Susan Kevorkian, senior analyst at IDC. "Technology providers like TI support this growth by enabling a range of device form factors and functions to appeal to diverse consumer tastes."
TI's Portable Audio and Infotainment business unit has seen tremendous growth since it was formed in 1999, tripling its DSP shipment volume to this market year-to-year since its inception. From its humble beginnings of powering one of the original MP3 players on the market, this business unit has evolved from enabling a simple flash-based MP3 device to supporting more than a dozen audio standards, up to ten types of storage media and all of the widely used digital rights management software. TI has also expanded to encompass new and emerging markets, such as multimedia cell phones, audio and A/V HDD jukeboxes, MP3-CD players and automotive applications.
"TI is dedicated to meeting our customers' needs for advanced functionality by providing power efficiency and performance headroom, enabling features such as enhanced user interfaces, advanced post processing capabilities, and the broadest support of software algorithms," said Chris Schairbaum, worldwide business manager of TI's Portable Audio and Infotainment business unit. "In most respects, the portable music market is still in its infancy. There's still much more to accomplish, to continue innovating, so music players can perfectly fit into the consumer's lifestyle."
Identifying the need to stay ahead of this ever-changing climate, TI has increased its R&D resources dedicated to the portable music market by more than 50 percent from 2002 to 2003 and plans an increase at the same rate from 2003 to 2004, allowing TI to continue pioneering the portable audio revolution. In fact, TI's R&D efforts have recently produced a refreshed version of their digital music player reference design, which is expected to be available in February 2004, based on its TMS320DA255 DSP.
"TI is taking portable entertainment to the next level by adding new features, such as video and imaging," said Schairbaum. "The portable A/V market requires design complexity, better user interfaces and enhanced systems on chip (SOCs), and TI is one of the few companies that can meet these performance and cost demands."
In broadening its focus to target developing markets, TI leverages the success and expertise of its existing audio, imaging and wireless business units to bring innovations and cost reductions to new application areas such as portable A/V jukeboxes. In fact, TI has taken a leadership position in the burgeoning A/V jukebox market with design-wins with the top two portable A/V jukebox makers. Another significant area of growth is the automotive market, where TI has seen tremendous success, shipping more than one million DSPs in just one year. To date, four out of the top five aftermarket car audio manufacturers selected TI's Portable Audio and Infotainment solutions for their new digital audio products.
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