RealTime IT News

Sichuan NTC to Use Zi Technology For Set Tops

Calgary-based Zi Corp. announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Sichuan New Tech Digital Equipment Co. Ltd.(Sichuan NTC) for Zi Corp.'s set-top box products in China.

Sichuan NTC is a partner of the Research Institute of TV and Electro-Acoustics of the Ministry of Information Industries, another recent licensee of Zi technology.

Zi Corp's avowed goal is to make modern electronic technology more accessible to people in a way that is consistent with their language and culture. Zi, traded on the NASDAQ and Toronto exchange, delivers multi-language and smart text input to the mass market for devices such as mobile phones, TV set-top boxes, computers and other information appliances.

"This new licensing contract is a direct benefit of our earlier agreement with the Ministry," commented Antoine Blondeau, Zi's senior vice president of marketing and sales.

"The fact that Zi software technology is a recommended component of the Research Institute's set top box solution is instrumental, when many other set top box manufacturers in China are using the Institute's reference designs," added Blondeu continued.

According to company representatives, Sichuan NTC has been involved with the development of Digital Video Broadcasting products in China since 1995. It was assigned the task of drawing up a standard for China by the State Technical Supervisory Bureau and the previous Ministry of Television Broadcasting.

The Sichuan firm has several products in the Chinese set top box market including one based on LSI Logic's hardware and a new product using IBM's single-chip set-top box controller.

Sichuan NTC's largest customers are Sichuan Television Station and Chengdu Television Station. Currently, there are currently over 5 million cable television subscribers in Sichuan province alone.

Chen Shiping, Sichuan NTC's general manager, indicated that the company project sales of 200,000 set-top boxes in the Sichuan market by the end of the year.