SAN JOSE, Calif., and ST. ALBANS, England, November 19, 2008 - ARC International (LSE: ARK), today introduced Virtual Bass™ audio enrichment technology that enables electronic companies to be more competitive and lower manufacturing costs while providing a more compelling multimedia experience to consumers.
Virtual Bass is part of ARC's silicon-to-sound solution that delivers a deep rich bass response on existing speakers or headphones thereby eliminating the need to add subwoofers or other costly audio components. This provides OEMs with up to $3 million in manufacturing cost savings over the life of a product and when combined with the low power ARC® Sound Subsystem a 100-hour audio playback solution for portable devices. Semiconductor vendors also benefit by realizing up to $1 million savings in silicon costs over the life of their system-on-chip (SoC) product development.
"ARC has created a significant opportunity for OEMs to increase their competitiveness in today's challenging market environment," said Ben Bajarin, director, consumer technology practice at Creative Strategies. "With ARC's Virtual Bass technology, consumer device manufacturers can achieve significant levels of differentiation that adds value to their device, thus commanding a higher price in the marketplace. ARC's solution is a good example of how to deliver a premium multimedia experience to consumers that makes business sense for electronics companies."
The ARC® Silicon-to-Sound Solution
Virtual Bass technology is part of ARC's Sonic Focus™ audio enrichment technology suite. When implemented on the ARC Sound Subsystem, it offers a complete solution that lowers their manufacturing cost while producing an enhanced listening experience. The solution includes the entire breath of ARC's product offerings:
- The underlying silicon solution that cuts chip size and lowers power consumption,
- The complete set of software to provide playback of any digital music format,
- All the tools needed to develop the chip solution, and
- The complete Sonic Focus audio enrichment technology suite.
The vast majority of small speakers typical of today's mobile phones and PCs have limited or non-existent bass response in the frequency range below 180 Hz. The result is a thin sound that does not convey the emotion of a plucked bass string or the impact of a movie explosion. Often the results are unwanted distortion, washed out solo instruments and vocals, and lost articulation of movie dialog. Virtual Bass optimizes a product's bass rendering capabilities, taking into account the analog to digital converter, amplifier, speaker cavity, and speaker driver, thus resulting in audio that more accurately reflects the original performance without adding artificial signals or muffling voice articulation and audio clarity.
"ARC's silicon-to-sound solution provides an optimized software, codec, and hardware product that marries the advantages of the industry's best audio enrichment software with the lowest power and smallest subsystem platform," said Carl Schlachte, president and CEO of ARC International. "As a result, OEM customers can dramatically reduce the amount and cost of audio components needed to deliver unsurpassed audio experience to consumers. Semiconductor companies can enable this new, dynamic experience on a broad range of electronics devices including desktops, portable media players, HDTVs, and set-top boxes."
"ARC has an ambitious initiative to achieve a two-pronged objective," said Paul O'Donovan, principal research analyst at Gartner Group. "The first involves reducing the amount of cost and power needed to deliver the improved audio experience. The second centers around replacing quality lost when audio is digitized and compressed."
Virtual Bass audio enrichment software is immediately available for licensing to OEMs. Virtual Bass is optimized for the ARC Sound Subsystem as well as x-86 hardware platforms. For chip suppliers, the ARC Sound Subsystem is available immediately for licensing. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About ARC International plc
ARC International is a world leading provider of consumer IP to OEM and semiconductor companies globally. ARC's award-winning, vertically integrated audio and video solutions enable high quality multimedia content to be captured, shared, and played on a wide range of electronics devices. ARC's 150+ customers collectively ship hundreds of millions of ARC-Based™ chips annually in products such as Mobile TVs, Portable Media Players, WiFi-/WiMAX-enabled computers, flash storage, digital cameras, network appliances, and medical and government systems.
ARC International maintains a worldwide presence with corporate and research and development offices in San Jose and Lake Tahoe, Calif., St. Albans, England, and St. Petersburg, Russia. For more information visit www.ARC.com. ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE: ARK).