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SigmaTel to obtain semiconductors provider

Posted: 05 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:protocom? multimedia consumer electronics? core audio?

SigmaTel Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Protocom Corp., a provider of semiconductors to the multi-function imaging market. In addition to providing key technologies applicable to SigmaTel's core audio business, the $47 million acquisition will give SigmaTel its first product line focused on imaging applications, as well as provide technology that can be leveraged into several emerging multimedia consumer electronics markets.

Imaging technology is essential to meet the feature requirements of next-generation portable multimedia devices, and SigmaTel's contemplated acquisition of Protocom is the result of long-term research that substantiated Protocom's delivery of solutions for portable image acquisition, compression/decompression and display.

Protocom launched the world's first full-duplex MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) hard-wired semiconductor product and provides high-performance solutions to the top-tier players in the consumer electronics market, including Samsung. Protocom's GoldenREEL PR818S offers high quality video in highly mobile, ultra-small environments typical of compact digital video cameras and other portable multimedia devices. In these applications, high-quality image capture, sound recording and playback, and video display, as well as long battery life, are key consumer requirements. With its ARM9 core, the GoldenREEL is the centerpiece of Emerge, Protocom's development platform, which delivers a complete solution designed to help OEMs reduce time-to-market.

The acquisition of Protocom is believed to increase SigmaTel's technology portfolio and its architecture and system design capabilities to meet the form, fit and function requirements for devices such as digital video cameras, personal media players (PMPs), video conferencing, remote security cameras, digital still cameras and multimedia mobile phones.

Protocom's patent-pending implementation of MPEG-4 ASP enables MPEG-4 images to be compressed into approximately one-fifth the storage space of other MPEG formats with virtually no impact on image quality. As a result, the Protocom solution offers greater battery life and helps lower the amount of needed memory, one of the highest cost elements for portable media devices, offering the potential for SigmaTel to deliver more cost effective portable media devices and help accelerate market growth.

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