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Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Philips and SAMSUNG launch a new Application Programming Interface for the consumer electronics industry

Philips and Samsung announced the launch of the Universal Home Application Programming Interface (UH-API) initiative. This creates a new application programming interface standard that will allow independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators and device vendors to create middleware and application software on top of semiconductor-based systems.

Together, the semiconductors units of Philips and Samsung, will establish, maintain and promote the UH-API initiative. Philips and Samsung plan to extend the invitation to other companies to participate in enhancing and deploying the UH-API specification throughout the consumer electronics industry in every new product that comes to market.

Both companies will realign their internal resources to develop UH-API-compliant semiconductor chipsets and solutions. Philips’ Nexperia Home semiconductor system solutions will be UH-API-compliant and Samsung will initially introduce the new standard to its HD TV chipsets and expand to other applications. Drafts of UH-API are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2004.

Industry cooperation related to this stable, hardware-independent API will lead to greater interoperability of consumer electronics products, systems and software applications. It will also result in faster time-to-market for new features and products for the home.

Consumer electronics products require steadily increasing amounts of software content to support advanced functions and features. There is an urgent need for a stable, hardware-independent API to quickly bridge the middleware and application software from ISVs to semiconductor system solutions from the chip manufacturers. The objective of the UH-API is to serve as that bridge between ISVs and semiconductor companies. As a result, ISVs can focus their energy on developing new innovating functions & features rather than dealing with the complex task of writing to unique hardware requirements for every consumer semiconductor product being developed. This will result in quicker delivery of the hardware, software and support required by highly competitive consumer electronics companies.

The UH-API consists of a set of software interfaces for configuring and controlling the audio and video-related components of a semiconductor platform targeting the consumer market, and it is complementary with the leading operating systems across the industry. The UH-API is designed for semiconductor platforms addressing a wide range of target devices including analog and digital televisions, Set Top Boxes, DVD players and recorders, personal video recorders, home servers and other consumer audio-video devices.

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