1/9/2004 - D-BOX Technology, Inc. (CDNX: DBO.A) and Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), announced a collaboration that enables D-BOX's unique motion simulation system to enhance home theatre systems by adding synchronized movement to the traditional audio-video experience. D-BOX uses Xilinx and its programmable chip technology to power its Odyssee Simulation System, a product that includes a controller component device, four motor-driven actuators that mount under the corners of a sofa or other seating, and a wireless remote control. The D-BOX system, which can be updated with new content remotely, has won high praise and awards from the home entertainment press and is on display January 8 - 11 in D-Box/Runco booth number 16877.
The Odyssee system works by lifting home theatre seating and occupants on a four-point suspension, in perfect synchronization with the onscreen action and sound, creating a virtual reality experience. The viewer is drawn into the action through experiencing the same motional forces as the actors and players on screen. The underlying technology - consisting of Xilinx's programmable chips and proprietary algorithms -- translate cues from any high quality audio soundtracks (DVD, cable, VHS, satellite, CD-ROM or broadcast) from movies, sporting events and video games into exhilarating, spectacular representations of onscreen motion.
The system contains a CD-ROM drive which can be used with special discs (each containing codes for about 50 movies) programmed with eMotion F/X information for specific movies and games, precisely synchronized to the DVD or CD-ROM program source to deliver even more accurate and expressive motion. Xilinx programmable technology is critical as new Odyssee F/X codes can be downloaded to the system to expand the library of content.
Price and Programmability Benefits Appeal to Consumer Electronics Developers
D-BOX's innovative product required a processing solution that was both flexible and able to meet the stringent price requirements of the consumer market. The company chose Xilinx's Spartan Series FPGAs over a traditional ASIC approach based on cost as well as adaptability, an increasing trend in the consumer electronics industry.
"Xilinx FPGA technology is an ideal way to meet the combination of challenges consumer electronic developers face - price, complexity, functionality and flexibility - all in the context of unforgiving time-to-market pressures," said Clay Johnson, vice president and general manager of the General Products division at Xilinx. "The Odyssee system from D-BOX is a perfect example: They needed a solution that would allow them to implement a very complex and innovative design but do so in a way that met specific price requirements and still be adaptable to changes and updates even when the product was in the field."
FPGA the ideal implementation option
D-BOX used the Spartan Series' capabilities to combine the flexibility of an FPGA with the performance and functions of a traditional DSP. This allowed developers to integrate the variety of capabilities necessary to make the Odyssee System perform as desired, including full-range of motion and precise synchronization with audio-video inputs.
"The development of an ASIC would have required too high an investment, and the risk would have been too large," said Bruno Paillard, director of Research and Development at D-Box. "We also considered using a DSP specialized for motor drives -- however to be able to drive three motors in parallel, which is what our system requires, the cost would have been higher and we would have had less flexibility."
Field programmability was the final critical element since the Odyssee System allows new content to be downloaded and incorporated into the system by the user.
About Xilinx Low Cost FPGAs
Xilinx first shipped the Spartan-3 family in March 2003 as the world's first and only FPGA utilizing 90nm process technology. The Spartan-3 platform is the world's lowest cost FPGA with unrivaled price points, starting at under $2.95*. Already, the Spartan Series is the world's most successful low-cost FPGA family in its class with over 11,000 customers worldwide. Since the introduction of the Spartan Series in 1998, the company has shipped more than 60 million devices. By continuing to set new price-density standards for the FPGA industry, Xilinx has dramatically narrowed the price-performance gap between programmable and fixed logic. This has driven Spartan-3 device adoption further into higher volume consumer applications and hastened the decline of ASIC designs.
About D-BOX Technology
D-BOX Technology Inc. (CDNX: DBO.A), established in 1992, designs and manufactures motion simulators for the home entertainment industry. The Odyssee product adds a new dimension (movement) to home theatre viewing and video games. The company is based in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, and its products are marketed primarily in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. For further information regarding D-BOX Technology Inc. and its products, please visit its Website at www.d-box.com
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit www.xilinx.com.
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