FineArch Inc. - headquartered in Koto Ward, Tokyo - has developed and manufactured on a trial basis the LSI ?FS-500 (FA3121037) Sound Decoder with a low running clock frequency and on-chip memory using Ogg Vorbis sound compression format that is license-royalty free, with ?high-fidelity and a high compression rate.?
FineArch has devoted particular attention to Ogg Vorbis as an optimal sound compression technology for embedded system devices from its earliest developmental stages. On July 15, 2003, we released an Ogg Vorbis-compatible Portable Music Player System IP. The FS-500 was developed and manufactured as a trial product to verify the processing performance of this System IP working as an actual chip. The special feature of this System IP is that through reevaluation of the hardware and firmware architecture, we have realized a low-clock rate, high-efficiency, and low-memory running while mounting the Ogg Vorbis Playing Process as software.
The existing playing process of Ogg Vorbis with multipurpose CPU software required running of the CPU with a high-clock frequency; external RAM such as SRAM was necessary as a working space for the software. FS-500, however, will allow the running of Ogg Vorbis Stereo Sound Processing with an internal LSI SRAM with an 8 MHz system running frequency. Because FS-500 is equipped with a 32-bit RISC CPU, it can be used as a main controller for embedded system devices. It also has a host interface that can be used as a sub-micro-controller that is dedicated to sound-processing under the control of a host controller. In addition, it can play multiple Ogg Vorbis sound sources simultaneously. It can output to individual speakers with such sound effects as equalizing, echo, panning, and phase-shift stereophonic sound images (Virtual 3D) by taking advantage of the low-clock/high-efficiency running feature. The FS-500 is compatible with Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and other sound formats. Compatible formats will be extended through appropriate updating of the internal CPU/DSP firmware.
FS-500 will be completed and released this year after optimizing the firmware for portable music players, music consoles, educational toys, electric toys, and hobby-related appliances, all the while minimizing its size.
Furthermore, in order to expand market for Ogg Vorbis appliances, the company has been developing a low-priced sound decoder - LSI ?FS-300? - for low-end users with refined and limited functions of ?Ogg Vorbis-compatible Portable Music Player System IP? verified in the course of the development and trial manufacturing of FS-500.
FS-300 will provide an easy solution to run sound-playing functions such as music, sound, warning alarms and sound effects suitable for toys, electronic dictionaries, home electronics, in-house facilities, security equipment, and so on. FineArch is planning to produce the FS-300 aiming at a two-dollar chip within this year.