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Issue No.01 - January/February (2007 vol.27)
pp: 97-99
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
ABSTRACT
In this issue, Tools and Products provides information about InterVideo's Home Theater, Foveon's X3 image sensor, Cinital's Previzion HD Studio, Curtiss-Wright's single-board computer, Microsemi's stereo amplifiers, Emulex' AV150 Intelligent Storage Processor, ADS Tech's Instant FM Music, CompAmerica's Nvidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX GPU, Reallusion's iClone 1.52, Radiance Technologies' TrueDelivery 4.2, Softimage's CAT v.2.5, and ParallelGraphics' Cortona VRML Client 5.0
Hardware
Home Theater in a Mobile PC
InterVideo announced that Asustek is bundling InterVideo Home Theater with its new ASUS R2H series product, the 7-inch Ultra-Mobile PC. The ASUS R2H series combines Windows XP with mobile-ready technologies that reportedly make it easy to access and use software on the go. InterVideo Home Theater is a complete entertainment center featuring a simplified interface suitable for tablet or media center (10-foot) applications.
The R2H is one of the first ultramobile PC platforms to come to market. It reportedly provides security protection, a user-friendly interface, and reliability for the road. For more information visit http://www.intervideo.com.


InterVideo Home Theater—now available on Asustek's 7-inch Ultra-Mobile PCs—provides solutions for multimedia entertainment, including viewing photos

High-Resolution Image Sensor
Foveon announced the release of a 14.1-megapixel X3 DSLR image sensor, which the company claims is the highest-resolution X3 sensor available. In addition to providing image quality suitable for professional photographers, the new X3 sensor incorporates design and process enhancements that improve performance at long exposures and high ISO speeds, and also provides a 40-percent increase in pixel count compared to the previous X3 DSLR sensor.
Foveon's X3 technology stacks red, green, and blue pixels vertically, increasing the information density of the recorded image while simultaneously eliminating the color sampling artifacts found with other image sensors. The sensor can be read out at speeds of up to five frames per second. The product will be available in the Sigma SD14 camera, the newest digital single-lens reflex camera from.
For more information visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com.
Rapid 3D Previsualization
Cinital announced Previzion HD Studio, a virtual studio solution that offers camera motion tracking and scene integration technology for rapid previsualization or visual effects creation. Based on an integrated real-time 2D/3D graphics engine, Previzion incorporates all the components of the visual effects pipeline—camera tracking, video I/O, keying, 3D rendering, compositing, and color correction—to accurately match live action foregrounds and computer-generated backgrounds.
Previzion relies on advanced 2D, 3D, and motion-tracking technology to provide small video production groups and independent filmmakers involved with virtual backgrounds a sophisticated visual-effects production tool that doesn't require specialized technical knowledge in keying, match moving, or compositing.
For more information visit http://www.cinital.com.


Previzion uses an integrated real-time 2D/3D graphics engine to accurately match live action foregrounds and computer-generated backgrounds

Improves Embedded-System Performance
Curtiss-Wright announced the SVME/DMV-1901, its first 6U VME single-board computer (SBC) to feature the Intel Core Duo processor running at speeds of 1.67 and 2.0 GHz. The Intel Core Duo processor's ultralow voltage operation significantly improves embedded system performance per watt and is ideal for defense and aerospace platforms in which processing and performance per watt are critical. The SVME/DMV-1901 is available in both air- and conduction-cooled configurations and can be configured with either a dual-core Intel Core Duo processor or a single-core Intel Core Solo processor.
Software for the new SBC includes board support packages for a variety of operating system environments. In addition to natively running on Windows SPe, the SVME/DMV-1901 is Curtiss-Wright's first VME SBC to support the Solaris 10 operating system. Support packages are currently available for Windows XPe, Solaris 10, and Linux.
The starting price for the air-cooled SVME-1901 is $4,700. For more information visit http://www.cwcembedded.com/6/144/208.html.
Low Cost, Maximum Battery Life Amplifiers
Microsemi has announced the addition of two new stereo amplifiers to its line of Class-D audio amplifiers, aiming for low system cost and maximum battery life in laptop PCs and other handheld or portable audio applications. The LX1702 and LX1704 require as few as five external components in a typical stereo system.
The LX1702 provides 1 watt stereo output power with a total harmonic distortion of less than 1 percent over a full 20 Hz to 20 kHz high-fidelity audio reproduction. The LX1704 increases output power to 2 watts.
A quiescent current of 1.2 milli-amps per channel in standby mode results from a proprietary output modulation design, further lowering battery consumption demands. The amplifiers' 2.5 to 5.5 supply voltage range reportedly lets users employ both amplifiers at almost all power-supply or battery conditions.
For more information visit http://www.microsemi.com.


Microsemi's LX1702 and LX1704 amplifiers require minimal external components

High-Performance Fabric Services
Emulex Corporation announced that its AV150 Intelligent Storage Processor is now shipping with McData's application services module. Together, the solutions reportedly will enable robust, high-performance fabric services.
Designed to work in appliances, arrays, intelligent switches, and modules such as the McData ASM, the Emulex AV150 offers an integrated and scalable hardware solution for storage virtualization and other advanced services environments. As an intelligent storage processor with built-in interfaces and a crossbar, the Emulex AV150 targets cost-effective system design and hardware acceleration. Using a split-path architecture, the AV150 provides up to 1.4-million I/O operations per second and 2,300 Mbytes per second of throughput.
For more information visit http://www.emulex.com.
FM Music Converts to MP3
ADS Tech announced Instant FM Music, a universal serial bus (USB) device with special software on it to help the user find and record songs, podcasts, and sporting events automatically, separating and identifying the songs for playback. The device creates iPod, mp3, or other portable media player-ready music files.
The 3.25-inch device incorporates ADS Tech's Radio Data Reception System capture technology with the software's other tools to let consumers tune across the FM band, record live broadcasts, and view data such as station call letters and radio text on a PC monitor. The device comes with Snaptune One, which lets users pause or rewind live radio, go back an entire week or longer to listen to any song again, learn more about it, or go online to purchase a download or CD containing the song. It's also equipped with a retractable FM antenna, a USB extension cable, and Instant Radio software.
Instant FM Music costs $39.99. For more information visit http://www.adstech.com.


ADS Tech's Instant FM Music finds and records songs across the FM band for playback on portable media players

Enhanced HD in Laptops
CompAmerica released the nVidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX graphics processing unit, available immediately for two of its laptops: the AMD FX-60/X2 Athlon Dual Core-based Orca FX-2/7950 and the Intel Core 2 Duo Centrino-based Dolphin 5724/7950.
The 7950 GTX extends the performance range for gamers, multimedia users, and developers and achieves between 10 and 30 percent greater performance over the 7900 GTX. The GPU reportedly supports high-definition video playback and picture quality without compromising frame rates or color performance.
The 7950 GTX sells for an incremental price of $99. For more information visit http://www.compamerica.com/mobilstar.
Software
Independent 3D Filmmaking Engine
Reallusion announced the release of iClone 1.52, a 3D real-time filmmaking engine featuring complete tools for character animation, scene building, and movie directing. The software is designed to simplify character creation, facial animation, and scene production for 3D films.
Updated features in the latest version of iClone include the following: an enhanced render core engine, a pixel shader for better 3D effects, faster fine-rendering speed for video output, unlimited video output size, instant 3D scene buildup with 3D block systems, and a library of textures (such as transparency, reflection, glow, and bump patterns).
For more information visit http://www.reallusion.com.


Reallusion's iClone 1.52 makes it easier for independent filmmakers to create characters as well as animate and produce scenes

Optimizes Bandwidth
Radiance Technologies announced the release of TrueDelivery 4.2, its flagship software that optimizes bandwidth so that video, audio, and large graphics files can be sent over existing Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The software works by using algorithms that tear apart the content to be sent. The software then plugs these pieces into the available areas that exist in the IP network, one piece at a time (similar to the way a person would fill up the holes in a showerhead). This approach reportedly lets the sender use up to 80 percent of the existing bandwidth at any given time.
The software now comes with a user-friendly interface that lets the user drag and drop files and works like most email systems. The software also allows the option of scheduling file deliveries for a guaranteed arrival, along with monitoring along the way.
For more information visit http://www.radiancetech.com.
Enhances Animation Workflow
Softimage CAT v. 2.5 is a toolset that lets artists animate quickly in a flexible environment. The latest version of the software includes a faster system for manipulating CATRigs. It also comes with copy and paste poses and animation layers for hubs, limbs, hands, feet, and tails to speed up the keyframe animation.
The software includes a procedural walk-cycle system with new walk modes, such as walking on a spot, on a line, or with a path node. Additionally, the product comes with a postmixer for bone-based facial animation so that artists can animate the characters' faces the same as they would using morph targets. Poses can be loaded, mirrored, and blended onto the facial bone hierarchy.
For more information visit http://www.softimage.com.


Screen shot of a character's motion capabilities in Softimage CAT v. 2.5

Realistic 3D Surfaces
Cortona VRML Client 5.0 is ParallelGraphics' latest version of its interactive 3D plug-in for Internet browsers that also acts as a content-authoring and visualization tool. The upgrade includes support for advanced visual effects and realistic surfaces (such as DirectX shaders), new interactive features (including layers), and an improved performance with better rendering algorithms.
The software reportedly supports the latest hardware accelerators, including DirectX 9.x. It also aids Web application developers by letting them create 3D content that interfaces and works well on most Internet browsers, including Netscape, Mozilla, and Firefox.
For more information visit http://www.parallelgraphics.com.
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