A new Digital Signal Computing technology and business model has been launched by Norwood, Massachusetts-based Analog Devices Inc. This combines standard signal processing and signal conversion hardware with a range of algorithms from third-party independent software vendors to produce multiple software applications. It is aimed at manufacturers wishing to integrate communications and multimedia capabilities into […]
A new Digital Signal Computing technology and business model has been launched by Norwood, Massachusetts-based Analog Devices Inc. This combines standard signal processing and signal conversion hardware with a range of algorithms from third-party independent software vendors to produce multiple software applications. It is aimed at manufacturers wishing to integrate communications and multimedia capabilities into their next generation of products. The first Digital Signal Computing product is now available in the form of a combined facsimile and data modem chip set with V32bis modem and Group III facsimile capabilities using Santa Clara, California-based Digicom Systems Inc’s algorithm software. Digicom is one of four independent algorithm vendors to which Analog Devices has allied itself. Each is experienced in specific areas of signal processing. Specialising in modem software, Digicom is to release a soft modem in June. This modem on a disk is to take over the algorithm function traditionally written onto a chip. The other three vendors are Ypres, Belgium-based Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products SA which is using the chip set for speech recognition and text-to-speech conversion; Xing Technology Inc of Arroyo Grande, California which is using it for still and moving image and audio compression algorithms and Boulder, Colorado-based EuPhonics Inc which is adapting the Dolby AC-2 digital audio algorithm for signal processing use as well as providing a sound toolkit. By removing the need for dedicated hardware and expansion slots, the open sytems architecture of the Digital System Computing model enables the same chipset to execute modem command sets, data compression and error control as well as sound and speech algorithms. In other words, a single multipurpose chip offers multiple applications. Although based on personal computer hardware, it will be possible to use the signal processor in applications other than multimedia computers, such as products for communications and industrial and consumer markets. Analog Devices believes that the main advantages of its product lie in the possibility of transferring development costs from hardware to software. It claims that this will allow more room for cheaper innovation and will speed up the implementation of newly developed products. The non-proprietary architecture will also supposedly offer immediate business opportunities for original equipment manufacturers and software vendors, while multipurpose chips and extendable software will break the mass-market cost threshold for digital sound, video, speech and communications in both business and home electronics, Analog Devices hopes.