HD-AAC by Fraunhofer IIS - New MPEG Audio Codec Makes CD Collections Obsolete

Mon Jan 7, 2008 12:47pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

ERLANGEN, Germany--(Business Wire)--Offering music encoding with quality beyond CDs and at the same
time, iPod(R) compatibility, the HD-AAC(R) codec enables a new way of
storing and distributing music. Based on the MPEG-4 SLS standard,
Fraunhofer's HD-AAC provides future-proof, lossless compression of
24-bit quality music content.

   Today's Audio-CDs store uncompressed music in 16-bit, 44.1 kHz
quality, while most music is now produced in the improved 24 bit, 96
kHz format. HD-AAC is making this new standard efficiently available
to consumers, electronic music distribution and the consumer
electronics industry.

   "Consumers will be able to buy content in online music stores that
sounds better than CDs, and preserve their existing CD collection for
the future by encoding it in HD-AAC", says Harald Popp, head of the
Multimedia Realtime Systems department at Fraunhofer IIS. "For casual
listening, HD-AAC files conveniently play on existing AAC devices."

   The HD-AAC encoding process preserves every bit of information
contained in the uncompressed original music track while offering
state-of-the-art lossless compression rates, comparable or superior to
other lossless formats. Due to its AAC-LC core layer, an HD-AAC file
can be directly played on existing music players and millions of
mobile phones. For decoding of the fully lossless signal, upcoming
devices will be equipped with an HD-AAC decoder.

   In the connected home, songs stored on media servers in the HD-AAC
format can be streamed to multiple devices at varying bitrates. This
maximizes the sound quality under difficult network conditions by
matching the bitrate to the available bandwidth.

   Fraunhofer IIS is offering HD-AAC software for both PC and
embedded devices, including microprocessors or DSPs from ARM, MIPS,
Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Intel, AMD, and IBM. Licensees can
certify their products in the HD-AAC conformance program and if
completed successfully, identify their products with the HD-AAC logo.

   Customers and press may meet Fraunhofer business managers at CES
Las Vegas, January 7-10. For an appointment, please contact Jan
Nordmann at codecs@dmt.fraunhofer.org or call +1 408 390 6698.

   An HD-AAC white paper featuring use cases, further technology
background information and contacts is available at www.hd-aac.com.
HD-AAC is the result of successful collaboration between Fraunhofer
IIS and the Institute for Infocomm Research I2R.

   The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft founded in 1949 is one of the leading
organizations of applied research in Europe. It operates 56 national
research establishments and numerous international centers. The
headquarters are located in Munich, Germany. Most of the 12 700 staff
members are scientists and engineers.

   Founded in 1985 the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
IIS in Erlangen, today with 520 staff members, ranks first among the
Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. As the
inventor of mp3 and co-inventor of the MPEG-4 AAC audio coding
standard, Fraunhofer IIS has reached worldwide recognition. It
provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing.

   The research topics are: Audio and video source coding, multimedia
realtime systems, digital radio broadcasting and digital cinema
systems, integrated circuits and sensor systems, design automation,
wireless, wired and optical networks, localization and navigation,
imaging systems and nanofocus X-ray technology, high-speed cameras,
medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport
and logistics.

   The budget of 61 million Euro is mainly financed by projects from
industry, the service sector and public authorities. Less than 20
percent of the budget is subsidized by federal and state funds.


   * Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies, a division of
Fraunhofer USA, Inc., promotes and supports the products of Fraunhofer
IIS in the U.S.

Fraunhofer Germany
Matthias Rose, +49-(0)-91-31 / 7-76-30-11
Fax +49-(0)-91-31 / 7-76-3-99
Public Relations
Marc Briele, +49-(0)-91-31 / 7-76-16-30
Fax +49-(0)-91-31 / 7-76-16-49
Fraunhofer USA, Inc.
Jan Nordmann, +1-408-390-66-98
Fraunhofer USA, Inc.
Digital Media Technologies(1)
100 Century Court
Suite 504
San Jose, California 95112
(1) Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies, a division
of Fraunhofer USA, Inc., promotes and supports the
products of Fraunhofer IIS in the U.S.

Copyright Business Wire 2008