TI's Aureus DSP Surrounds Spherex's Xbox 5.1 System with Sound

3/10/2004 - Providing exceptionally high quality source audio for gaming and multimedia systems, Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN) announced that Spherex Inc. developed the Xbox 5.1 Surround Sound System based on the AureusTM audio digital signal processor (DSP), setting a new standard for video game audio. The six-speaker Xbox 5.1 system with state-of-the-art sound processing supplied by TI´s Aureus DSP provides surround sound for the entire home theater. The new multimedia audio platform by Spherex was also a finalist in TechTV´s "Best of CES" awards, given for the most innovative products introduced in the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Priced at less than $500, the Xbox 5.1 system incorporates all current popular surround sound formats and multiple audio inputs, allowing simultaneous support for up to five directly connected and networked audio sources. Audio inputs can include the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, DVD and CD players, satellite TV, MP3/WMA compressed audio, PC and Internet radio. Spherex, a subsidiary of Audio Products International Corp. (API), one of the world´s largest loudspeaker manufacturers, designed the Xbox 5.1 system to take advantage of technology normally used in much more expensive audio systems. TI´s TMS320DA601 audio DSP is at the heart of the system, enabling high-fidelity sound reproduction by decoding audio standards such as Dolby Digital®, Dolby® Pro Logic II and DTS®, while still having the processing headroom for advanced acoustic features such as bass extension and audio dynamics.

"We selected TI's Aureus audio DSP for the Xbox 5.1 system because of the outstanding performance, flexibility and cost effectiveness of the device," said Alex Romanov, President and CEO. "Working with TI, Spherex has been able to achieve the best speaker system available at this price point for video gaming and audio entertainment."

An Immersive, Realistic Sound Experience
The Xbox 5.1 system includes a subwoofer and five satellite speakers based on API´s Mirage OMNIPOLARTM technology, which utilizes room reflections to create sound as 30 percent direct to 70 percent reflected - the same ratio found in nature. As a result, the speakers disperse sound in a 360-degree pattern, giving listeners a realistic immersive experience for gaming, movies and music playback.

"Innovative products like the Xbox 5.1 system demonstrate how TI is working with customers like Spherex to bring the best available audio technology to all multimedia applications," said Mohsin Imtiaz, marketing manager of performance audio, TI. "High-performance Aureus audio DSPs make it possible for inexpensive multimedia audio platforms like the Xbox 5.1 system to provide a listening experience previously found only in high-priced equipment."

TI Enables More Robust Multimedia Sound
TI´s Aureus audio DSP solutions for home theater and gaming products enable audio manufacturers to deliver feature-rich, realistic listening experiences across product lines from high-fidelity high-end systems to feature-driven low-cost systems. The Xbox 5.1 system uses the DA601 DSP, a member of the Aureus family, to produce high-end audiophile sound at a cost-effective price point for multimedia solutions. The DA601 is a 225-megahertz (MHz) floating-point processor that delivers 1800 million instructions per second (MIPS) and 32/64-bit native processing. It also features an open audio framework that provides a flexible environment in which manufacturers can easily add the features that differentiate their products and bring them to market more quickly.

Product Availability
The Xbox 5.1 Surround Sound System is scheduled for availability in April 2004, in stores where Xbox gaming equipment and speakers are sold. Suggested retail pricing is $499.

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