Norwood, MA (09/12/2006) -
Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a global leader in high-performance semiconductors for signal processing applications, today announced its Blackfin® processor has enabled Hitachi, Ltd. to implement an innovative feature that allows the Hitachi Wooo D series of digital video recorders (DVRs) to automatically extract and play back key highlights from recorded video. Known as “automatic digesting,” the capability makes fast forwarding all but obsolete and is implemented by a custom algorithm running on Blackfin. The Hitachi DVRs debuted in April in Japan.
Leveraging the ability of the Blackfin to execute sophisticated, computationally-intensive algorithms, Hitachi developed a program that automatically highlights important material on a recording based on changes to audio and video outputs, such as an increase in sound, or a change in the brightness or color distribution. Users can enjoy the high points of their recorded shows, such as a big musical number in a concert or the scoring plays in a baseball game, without having to fast forward. Powering this advanced feature, Blackfin handles the audio and video processing in addition to interfacing with the host storage device.
“Today’s consumers demand high-definition entertainment that fits into their busy lifestyles. Hitachi Wooo DVRs rely on Analog Devices’ Blackfin processor to handle complicated audio and video processing, which brings new convenience to the experience of watching recorded content,” said Kazuto Shimagami, Senior Manager, Storage Products Marketing and Product Planning Dept., Ubiquitous Platform Systems, Hitachi, Ltd.
The easy programmability of the Blackfin architecture was a major reason that the ADSP-BF531 processor was chosen for these high-end DVRs. Hitachi also selected Blackfin because of its audio/video optimization performance -- at speeds up to 400 MHz, Blackfin is ideally suited for multi-channel audio and video processing applications -- and superior signal processing capabilities.
“Now viewers can eliminate the skipping around needed to ‘get to the good part’ of a program and go right to it. Hitachi is harnessing the multimedia power and performance of the Blackfin processor to create feature-packed DVRs for the ultimate television fan,” said John Croteau, General Manager, Convergent Platforms and Services Group, Analog Devices.
The new Hitachi DVRs feature up to 1 terabyte (TB) of media storage and record in Hi-Vision, a Japanese HD (high-definition) format. All HDD/DVD (hard disk drive/digital video disk) recorders in the series -- which includes the DV-DH1000D, DV-DH500D, DV-DH250D and DV-DH160D -- come equipped with automatic digesting functionality and have a twin digital tuner system (two terrestrial digital tuners and two BS/CS digital tuners) to enable simultaneous recording of two broadcast programs with HD quality. Additionally, the new models come loaded with a unique graphical user interface that allows users to easily sort, select and play programs recorded in large capacity HDD.
A Convergent Future Demands Blackfin-Class Processing
Analog Devices’ Blackfin® embodies a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processor with the industry’s highest performance and power efficiency for applications where a convergence of capabilities -- multi-format audio, video, voice and image processing; multi-mode baseband and packet processing; and real-time security and control processing -- are critical. It is this powerful combination of software flexibility and scalability that has gained Blackfin widespread adoption in convergent applications such as digital home entertainment; networked and streaming media; automotive telematics and infotainment; and digital radio and mobile TV.
About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices' common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ADI” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.
Blackfin is a registered trademark of Analog Devices, Inc.