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New Dolby Tech Sounds Good to ADI Chipsets

In its quest for smaller and better sounding audio equipment, Dolby Laboratories said it is bringing its Dolby Virtual Speaker technology down to the chip level.

The San Francisco-based sound specialists Thursday said they've licensed the first silicon implementation of two of its audio technologies to Norwood, Mass.-based Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) for use in its new Melody SHARC Ultra chipset.

In addition to Virtual Speaker technology ADI's chipset also uses Dolby's Headphone technology for use in consumer electronics products such as digital televisions, stereo mini-systems, video-game consoles, in-car entertainment systems, DVD-Video players and portable DVD players.

Before ADI started using Dolby technology in its chipset, iterations of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology were limited to digital signal processing (DSP) applications in personal computers, which have far more processing power than traditional consumer electronics products.

Dolby Labs said the soon-to-be-released version of CyberLink's PowerDVD XP 4.0 also supports its Virtual Speaker technology, but only for PCs.

The Melody SHARC Ultra chipset is based on a Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) core architecture. Featuring 32-bit audio quality, the Melody SHARC Ultra reference designs auto-detect and decode 6.1- and 5.1-channel digital audio formats in real time. By including ADI's SHARC DSP processor, Melody reference designs support multiple algorithm combinations.

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology incorporates an, advanced algorithm to reproduce the dynamics and surround-sound effects of a precisely placed 5.1-channel speaker system from a consumer electronics device or personal computer equipped with as few as two speakers.

"As a result of space constraints or environmental issues, some people cannot integrate a full 5.1 surround speaker system into their home entertainment lifestyle," said Craig Eggers, director of consumer channel marketing, Dolby Laboratories. "Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technologies are the ideal solutions for these consumers, who will now be able to take advantage and experience the benefits of multichannel Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks included in a host of entertainment delivery systems, including DVD, digital television, digital cable, and DBS.

Dolby said its Virtual Speaker technology is already showing great success in software DVD players from InterVideo's WinDVD Platinum.