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Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Toshiba Switches on Linux DVD Players

Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) today announced that it has teamed up with digital media processing firm Sigma Designs to develop a Linux-based platform for consumer digital multimedia appliances such as smart DVD players.

The Linux platform will be based on the highly integrated Toshiba TX4938 MIPS-based TX System RISC microprocessor, and the Sigma EM8620L digital media processor. The Toshiba/Sigma platform will provide customers with a quick-time-to-market decoder solution for a range of digital multimedia appliances, including DVD players, IP set-top boxes and digital media players.

"Over the past few years, TAEC has been working closely with Sigma Designs on the development of a series of multimedia reference platforms, and this new platform represents another milestone," said Shardul Kazi, vice president of the Embedded Processor SoC Business Unit at TAEC. "We are continuing to execute on a total solution strategy by designing reference platforms based on our existing TX49-based ASSPs. With the Toshiba/Sigma platform, we are providing our customers with a standard-definition or high-definition MPEG-2/MPEG-4 and Windows Media? Video 9 decoder solution for digital multimedia applications that can get them to market faster and with less effort."

The new Toshiba/Sigma platform can be plugged into the PCI slot on the Toshiba RBTX4938 reference board, or plugged into the Toshiba AVM49R multimedia reference platform. Provided in a compact 6.7-inch by 6.7-inch mini-ITX form factor, the AVM49R is a highly integrated and cost-effective reference design that includes a 300-megahertz Toshiba TMPR4938XB 64-bit MIPS-based RISC processor, and a Toshiba TC86C001F PCI-to-ATA66/USB companion chip, both running under the MontaVista Linux operating system.

The EM8620L media processor from Sigma Designs provides a single-chip solution for next generation IP video and connected media players, featuring high definition Windows Media Video 9 support. The EM8620L offers a wide range of media processing functions for video decoding, audio decoding, and graphics processing based on REALmagic HD technology, for the highest quality image possible on high definition displays. For single-chip systems, it features an on-chip RISC processor, PCI-bus, IDE controller and additional peripheral ports for supporting other subsystems.

Pricing and Availability

The Toshiba AVM49R Multimedia Reference Platform Hardware Developer Kit is currently available from TAEC for customers to license at $10,000.00 per license. The Toshiba RBTX4938 reference board is currently available from Toshiba for customers to purchase for under $2,000.00 each.

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