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Texas Instruments Extends DSP Leadership to Real-Time, High-Quality Consumer Videophones

New Development Platform from TI and Wintech Improves Quality, Integration and Lowers System Cost of Videophones

Feb 15, 2005

DALLAS (February 15, 2005) - Empowering original equipment manufacturers to bring videophones to market faster, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) and Wintech Digital Systems Technology Corp. (Wintech) (OTCBB: WDSP) are releasing the Videophone Development Platform (VDP), a complete development platform for designing point-to-point IP-based videophone systems. The VDP enables developers to roll out real-time, high-quality consumer videophone systems on TI´s digital media processor, substantially lowering system cost and reducing development time. For more information see www.ti.com/vdppr
Traditional barriers to adoption of videophones include jerky video quality and high unit cost. However, the introduction of new video codecs which require half the bandwidth for video transfers, the continuing penetration of IP broadband connectivity and the availability of single-chip encode and decode implementation has overcome these last-mile barriers. The increasing market demand for IP consumer videophones with superior audio and video quality is driving the advent of new and improved systems.
Further pushing deployment of videophones, many large carriers have announced plans to roll out IP videophones and related services for small- to mid-sized businesses and individuals with broadband Internet connections. Wainhouse Research projects that overall the personal videoconferencing market will grow from about $21 million in 2003 to just shy of $180 million in 2008, a compounded growth rate of about 53 percent.
"Videophones have been anticipated for over 40 years, but they have had the limitation of low-quality video," Richard Westerfer, COO and senior vice president of engineering, WorldGate Communications, Inc. "Building on the single-chip capabilities of TI's DSP-based digital media processor, we were able to quickly develop the kind of video quality WorldGate required to appeal to consumers with high-quality video over the Internet. The digital media processor will also allow us to easily upgrade our design for future product releases."

Unparalleled Development Platform

The VDP from TI and Wintech is an integrated hardware/software development platform reducing both design complexity and total system bill of materials, including everything developers need to begin designing point-to-point videophone systems immediately. All application system software runs on TI´s 600 MHz DSP-based TMS320DM643 digital media processor, including audio/video compression, networking stacks and control protocols.

"The VDP provides developers with the tools necessary to create viable and commercially ready IP-based video client devices," said David Dong, president, Wintech. "Instead of spending months integrating different software algorithms, developers begin the development process starting with high-quality video and tight audio/video sync, enabling them to focus on product differentiating features, such as the user interface and out-of-box experience."

From a hardware perspective, the modular VDP offers a complete development environment for designing and building consumer videophones. Developers can connect the development boards over a live network and/or the Internet to test under real-world operating conditions, and the VDP is easily configured for different video telephony applications. The hardware platform includes external memory and a variety of peripherals and audio/video interfaces, network connectivity and communication interfaces.

The key to the flexibility of the VDP is the programmable foundation of the DM643 digital media processor, which enables OEMs to customize the entire design, from codec to user interface and to create different product families and price lines based on the same platform. The VDP incorporates industry protocol standards so products developed with the VDP are able to interoperate with other videophones and the existing IP infrastructure. Likewise, the VDP uses complementary TI analog technology, including the


video decoder and AIC23 audio codec, to enable the highest video and audio quality possible. The VDP includes all the software necessary to evaluate, design and test video telephony endpoints, including video and voice codecs, integrated reference frameworks, communications stack and network protocols.

Pricing and Availability

Available now, the comprehensive VDP includes two DM643 boards, two five-inch LCDs, two cameras, network switch/hub and complete ready-to-use application software, and it is priced at $6,950. To order a VDP, see www.ti.com/vdppr