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Zoran acquires video frame conversion provider

Posted: 09 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fabless? consumer electronics? motion compensated frame rate conversion?

Zoran Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire for $27.6 million Let It Wave, a Paris-based fabless semiconductor company that delivers technology for video frame rate conversion and image enhancement capabilities for flat panel TVs and other consumer electronics products.

The acquisition is expected to close on or about June 11.

The need to reduce motion blur on LCD TVs has driven the introduction of 120Hz panels and the development of motion compensated frame rate conversion (MCFRC) solutions. In addition, studio movie content, including Blu-ray, uses 24 images per second, which requires conversion to 60 or 120Hz for best viewing quality. According to Let It Wave, its proprietary MCFRC technology produces sharper images and reduce judder by creating additional frames using its bandlet technologies. With its multiscale geometrical processing, the solution determines the direction of motion regularity, overcoming the limitations of traditional block-search algorithms.

By acquiring Let It Wave, Zoran intends to deliver high performance image processing that enables artifact-free true-MCFRC for flat panel TVs and other video consumer electronics products.

"With this acquisition, we believe we can drive the rapid adoption of 120Hz processing into the mainstream DTV market," said Ram Ofir, senior VP and general manager, home entertainment division at Zoran. "By combining the Let It Wave team with our own, we can deliver the highest-quality video solutions to multiple fast-growing consumer electronics markets. Our immediate target market with this technology will be 120Hz LCD TVs." The segment says analysts, will hit 30 million units shipped in 2010, growing to 40 million units by 2012.

"We expect to have first samples of our MCFRC solution available for customer integration by the end of this year," added Ofir.

Let It Wave was founded in 2001 to develop improved image-processing capabilities for video products based on bandlet technology at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.

"Instead of relying on a single motion computation per pixel, bandlet algorithms perform a full spatio-temporal analysis of the video to perform advanced geometrical interpolations and filtering, which avoids blurring, ghosting and shadowing artifacts," said Stephane Mallat, Let It Wave chairman and co-founder. TV viewers immediately see improved image quality on sets using this technology."

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