ERLANGEN, Germany -- Jan 9, 2008 --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 firstname.lastname@example.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.