SOURCE: Micronas USA

May 23, 2006 08:00 ET

Micronas Introduces MicRacer Reference Design to Enable H.264 and VC-1 for Consumer PCs

World's First PCI Express H.264 / VC-1 Decoder Board Supports Emerging Compression Standard for High-Resolution Video on Consumer PCs

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 23, 2006 -- Micronas (Zurich, Switzerland, SWX Swiss Exchange: MASN), a leading supplier of innovative application-specific IC system solutions for consumer electronics, has launched MicRacer™1D-X, the world's first PCI Express H.264/VC-1 decoder reference design for the PC market. The solution allows OEMs to affordably offer H.264/AVC and VC-1 content consumption on desktop computers.

Micronas is leveraging its expertise and innovation into new markets emerging through the digitization of audio and video content. With the addition of Micronas USA and its highly acclaimed DeCypher 8100 capabilities in network and video codecs, the Company delivers stable, scalable, and cost-effective products.

"By pairing our unique expertise in advanced video decoding and PCI Express, we've created an approach that extends the reach of home entertainment into the family PC by achieving the price and quality deltas needed to bring H.264 and VC-1 adoption on a standard PC into the mainstream," said Kai Scheffer, Director, Media Home at Micronas. "Consumers will continue to demand ever-increasing resolution levels that don't consume their storage reserves. This solution supports the newest compression standards to meet those requirements."

The H.264/AVC and VC-1 compression standard supported by MicRacer 1D-X is quickly becoming the norm for delivering video at resolutions up to six times greater than conventional DVDs. It has been adopted by both the DVD Forum for HD-DVDs and the Blu-ray Disc Association for Blu-ray DVDs. All PC displays are high-definition ready, but until now only PCs with high-end graphics cards or quad CPUs could decode the HD content.

The design of the MicRacer 1D-X board allows it to handle the entire H.264 or VC-1 decode process in hardware so that it does not tax the system's CPU or require a special graphics adapter. In addition, MicRacer 1D-X consumes considerably less power and enables the low-noise operation that is essential to any device operating in a living room environment. OEMs will be able to integrate this capability at more than fifty percent less than the cost of using high-performance CPUs or GPUs with H.264 acceleration.

MicRacer 1D-X PCI Express capability is provided by Micronas APB 7202A nGene multimedia controller. The controller sources H.264 or VC-1 streams via the PCI Express bus and supplies them to Micronas DeCypher 8100 Streaming Media Decoder for H.264 hardware decode. The DeCypher 8100, a high definition streaming media decoder, supports full decode of H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 streams.

Micronas will be showing demonstrations of MicRacer 1D-X at Microsoft WinHEC, from Tuesday, May 23, 2006 to Thursday, May 25, 2006 in booths #121-123 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington.

Product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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MicRacer 1D-X is a trademark and nGene is a registered trademark of Micronas GmbH. PCI Express is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG. DVB is a registered trademark of the DVB Project. Other products and companies are trademarked by their respective owners.

About Micronas

Micronas (SWX Swiss Exchange: MASN), a semiconductor designer and manufacturer with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for consumer and automotive electronics. As a market leader in innovative global TV system solutions, Micronas leverages its expertise into new markets emerging through the digitization of audio and video content. Micronas serves all major consumer brands worldwide, many of them in continuous partnerships seeking joint success. While the holding company is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), operational headquarters are based in Freiburg (Germany). Currently, the Micronas Group employs about 2000 people. In 2005 it generated CHF 845/USD 676/EUR 545 million in sales. For more information on Micronas and its products, please visit: as well as

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Contact Information

  • For information, contact:

    Annie Headley
    Micronas USA
    Email Contact
    (408) 625-1405

    Donna Candelori
    Candelori Communications
    Email Contact
    (408) 774-3414