A Silicon Valley start up claims it is the first to focus on designing semiconductors for the rapidly expanding world of connected intelligent devices and consumer electronic appliances (CEAs).
Analysts forecast that the market for CEAs will grow to more than 55 million units worldwide by 2002, when more than 35 percent of Internet users will access the Web using a non PC device.
Ramesh Singh, a former executive at S3 and MediaQ?s current president and chief executive, set up the company in May 1997. He said: "MediaQ was founded with the CEA market in mind. To be a driving force in the next computing wave where smart appliance will define the computing experience is very exciting to us."
He continued that the company was established to enable system developers to deploy such intelligent devices as micro notebooks, handheld computers, consumer Internet appliances, client computing devices and smart telephones.
"MediaQ intends to free OEMs from the constraints of silicon developed for PCs. Our advanced silicon solutions will enable OEMs to design unique platforms based on Windows CE and other realtime operating systems. By accelerating the developer's design time, our solutions will enable the overall CEA market to grow faster," he claimed.
And Microsoft plans to work with the firm to enable CE to run on its chips, which will be manufactured by Hitachi.
Harel Kodesh, vice president of Microsoft?s information appliance division, said: "We are looking forward to companies such as MediaQ to create products and technologies that can accelerate the acceptance and use of various information appliances for business and consumer markets."
But MediaQ?s Singh said the company intended to integrate increasing levels of functionality and connectivity in single chip designs that supported a variety of microprocessors to try and boost growth.
The MQ-200, for example, he attested, was the first LCD/CRT 2D graphics controller with embedded DRAM for CEAs. It provides a simultaneous display capability called Qview, which enables users to configure the primary LCD display and optional CRT display as different resolutions, refresh rates and pixel depths.
Singh claimed: "We're unique in designing low power, highly integrated chips for information appliances. We believe this emerging market requires a unique technological approach."
In the future, however, MediaQ will also integrate its graphics chip with communications chips to reduce the size and cost of electronics for information appliances.
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