Zodiac Releases PowerRamp, High-performance, Small Footprint Java Middleware for Legacy Set-Tops

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Zodiac Interactive Announces PowerRamp™
High-performance, Small Footprint Java Middleware Solution for Legacy Set-tops
PowerRamp Debuts at NCTA’s The Cable Show ’07 May 7-9 in Las Vegas

NCTA’s The Cable Show 2007
Booth #4272

LAS VEGAS — Zodiac Interactive, an Emmy Award winning developer of iTV applications, games and services-oriented middleware for cable, satellite and IPTV, today announced the availability of its Java Middleware solution, PowerRamp™. PowerRamp is Zodiac’s high-performance, small footprint Java middleware solution for legacy set-top boxes that can not support a full OCAP (OpenCable Application Platform) environment. Zodiac will be performing private demonstrations of PowerRamp in its booth #4272 during National Cable Television Association’s (NCTA) The Cable Show ’07 on May 7-9 and attendees may also view PowerRamp at the OCAP Developers Conference on May 6-7. Both events will be held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

PowerRamp, which is based on the JSR 242 specification and an optimized Sun Microsystems CLDC-HI JVM, provides a solution for these legacy set-tops. It allows high-value Java client applications to run on relatively low powered boxes that have limited memory and processing power. It is designed to provide forward compatibility and portability to future OCAP enabled set-top boxes.

Zodiac Interactive’s Co-founder and CEO Mike Rivkin comments, “We’re thrilled to offer PowerRamp to cable operators as a legacy box migration path to Java-based platform such as OCAP. PowerRamp is not intended to replace OCAP, which all major MSOs are actively pursuing. Instead, it’s a way to bridge the gap for millions of legacy boxes still in the field and future low-powered boxes that are unable to deliver the most compelling iTV applications and services.”

PowerRamp is the industry’s most advanced, generally available implementation of OnRamp to OCAP. It is fully compliant with JSR 242 and it has a low-memory footprint of under 2MB. PowerRamp can enhance set-top box performance by more than 3X over generally available set-top box implementations of Java. PowerRamp is comprised of the following components:

  • Power Nucleus™, Zodiac’s embedded software stack that integrates into middleware and improves the performance of set-top applications. PowerNucleus intelligently manages memory and directs requests to hardware-optimized modules for graphics, sound, and file management.
  • OCAP extensions to the JSR 242 specification
  • An optimized JVM based on the Sun Microsystems CLDC-HI 1.1 release

“Zodiac’s solution provides a compelling alternative implementation of Java on legacy set-top boxes generally available for all cable operators,” said Craig Smithpeters, Director of Interactive Services Engineering at Cox Communications, and one of the authors of the JSR 242 specification. “Cox has consistently demonstrated our commitment to a broad range of Java-based applications on existing set-tops and we are always thrilled to see vendors committed to those same goals.”

Rivkin continued, “The deployment of iTV in the North American cable market has been hampered by the lack of common, industry-wide middleware. OCAP is clearly the future for advanced set-tops as well as two-way, plug-and-play CE devices. However, the industry needs some way of enabling the widespread deployment of iTV applications before the deployment of OCAP set-tops hit critical mass. PowerRamp is the clear solution to this problem. Zodiac, throughout its history, has enhanced the performance of applications on the set-top box. Starting with games, Zodiac has pushed the limits of the set-top, developing powerful components that greatly enhance the performance of applications on legacy boxes. With PowerRamp, now all legacy Scientific Atlanta set-top boxes can have advanced interactive capabilities, allowing the iTV industry to flourish.”

Zodiac has developed an in-depth paper on PowerRamp that includes performance benchmark tests. To request a copy of this paper or to set-up a private demonstration of PowerRamp at The Cable Show, visit www.zodiac.tv/powerramp.