Sigma Media Processor to Power Sharp's AQUOS Line of Blu-ray Disc Players & Recorders

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007 
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New Blu-ray Players To Be Demonstrated At CES

MILPITAS, Calif. — Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM), a leading provider of highly integrated systems-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions, today announced that its highly integrated SMP8634 media processor was selected by Sharp Corporation to power its new line of AQUOS® Blu-ray disc players and recorders. Sharp’s new products include the BD-AV1 and AV10 Series for the Japanese market and the recently introduced slim-profile AQUOS BD player, model BD-HP20U, the company’s first offering in the U.S. market.

Blu-ray (Blu-ray Disc or BD) is a leading standard in the market for next-generation, high-definition optical players, which is based on blue laser disc technology. Blu-ray offers consumers the highest quality viewing experience which includes high definition video at 1080p resolution, picture-in-picture video, high definition multi-channel audio, 3D style graphics and enhanced interactive features such as real time director’s comments, pop-up menus, and more.

“Sigma’s technology helps us design Blu-ray disc players that deliver breathtaking and vivid pictures with enhanced video and audio quality that closely mimics a true cinematic experience,” said Ryohji Ohno, Sharp Corporation. “Sigma’s SMP8634 chip also passes the test of our DVD enthusiast customers who demand the highest quality in picture and sound.”

“Sigma’s SMP8634 has proven to be a Blu-ray industry favorite and we are honored that Sharp has chosen us to help enable these next-generation players,” said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing at Sigma Designs. “We have been developing media processors for high definition DVD players for more than three years now and believe that continued customer adoption such as this indicates the type of high quality solution we provide.”

Sharp’s new series of AQUOS Blu-ray disc recorders BD-AV1 and AV10 enable recording and playback of digital broadcasts of HDTV programs that capture the same high-resolution image quality of broadcast TV that VCR users are accustomed to experiencing. AQUOS also offers full compatibility with 24 movie frames per second playback, matching the native filming format for most movies as well as HDMI output support of 1080/24p video and Dolby TrueHD, and an i.LINK™ (IEEE1394) input for connecting to a Sharp AQUOS High-Vision recorder.

Sigma provides advanced media processor silicon and software that constitute a system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution for designing Blu-ray or HD-DVD players, enabling customers to focus on software development and value-added features that extend beyond basic operation. The next-generation technology contained in Sigma’s SMP8634 media processor enables players to offer stunning, precise pictures and remarkably beautiful sound as well as intelligent interactive features.

About Sigma’s SMP8634 Media Processor

Sigma’s SMP8634 media processor integrates a complete complement of next-generation capabilities for a single-chip system-on-chip (SOC) solution with powerful multimedia processing, robust content security system, and a full complement of peripherals. Its advanced decoder engines support video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media® Video 9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2) with multiple streams, up to the equivalent of two high-definition video streams. High-performance graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding, advanced display processing capabilities, and HDMI/HDCP output round out its multimedia core. Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor, flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. The SMP8634’s 300-Mhz host CPU, 3.2 GB/second unified memory controller, Ethernet 10/100 controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, and IDE controller provide for a single-chip solution for most set-top boxes and consumer players.