The REALmagic EM8000 will be sold as part of a new Sigma chipset that will drive down the cost of hardware MPEG playback and bring high-quality full-motion video to the mass market for the first time. Playback boards based on Sigma's new chip will permit home-PC users to benefit from the growing number of entertainment, training and education materials available on video CD.
Sigma's reference design enables board manufacturers to provide a low-cost, high-performance MPEG solution for the vast installed base of 486 and Pentium PCs. Software video players traditionally have been less expensive than hardware solutions like Sigma's, but software MPEG is not an option in older PCs because of system limitations, and it remains less desirable even in newer systems because of problems such as jerky motion, poor video quality, crackling audio and the inability to work with DOS and interactive applications and games important to home users. The new Sigma solution provides a superior features at a competitive price.
REALmagic EM8000 Integrated MPEG Decoder/Scalar
The REALmagic EM8000 chip combines a new Sigma MPEG-1 video and audio decoder with Sigma's proven X-Y scaling technology for smooth horizontal and vertical bilinear interpolation, permitting display of clear video images in any size from a postage-stamp-type icon to a full-screen display.
The chip has a built-in direct interface to ISA-bus, making it compatible with the installed base of PCs, and offers complete plug-and-play compatibility to enable development of low-cost playback boards for the upgrade market. This single chip performs functions that previously required several separate components. It supports variable video frame rates up to 120 Hz without any additional field memory.
The video module of the chip decompresses the video input, accepts the decompressed data from the local DRAM, and outputs it as horizontally and vertically interpolated YUV or RGB pixels. It provides 16 million (24-bit) MPEG playback accelerated to a guaranteed 30 frames per second.
The audio module supports decoding of MPEG-1 Layer I and II audio streams for serial 16-bit CD quality stereo audio output at sampling frequencies of 32 KHz, 44.1 KHz and 48 KHz.
REALmagic PC-MPEG Reference Design
The new Sigma REALmagic PC-MPEG reference design is based on the new EM8000 decoding and scaling chip, resulting in a compact design that reduces the real estate required to produce MPEG playback cards. The reference design also uses the company's breakthrough REAL Analog Overlay chip for mixing MPEG video and PC graphics at the high resolutions demanded by end users. The chipset permits video and graphics displays at resolutions of up to 1600 x 1200 with an 85 Hz refresh rate, eliminates the need for a feature connector that often causes compatibility problems and offers guaranteed compatibility with all graphics cards.
The reference design is a complete OEM manufacturing kit that includes the REALmagic MPEG playback reference design card, REALmagic drivers, REALmagic PC-MPEG set specifications, schematics and BOM, CD Station applet and sample user's manual.
Using the Sigma Designs chipsets and drivers guarantees 100% compliance with Windows 95 and MPC3, plus full compatibility with the OM-1 standard for MPEG products and with the hundreds of REALmagic MPEG interactive games and applications currently on the market.