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Sharp Microelectronics and PACE Soft Silicon Deliver Optimized, Multimedia Decoding Software


CAMAS, WA -- 02/22/2005 -- Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas and PACE Soft Silicon, a provider of software-based CODECs, have collaborated to deliver faster compression and decompression capabilities for ARM based devices. Available now, PACE’s decoding software supports Sharp’s recently announced QCIF+ and QVGA reference designs for media-rich applications, including portable media players, audio jukeboxes and other handheld devices.

By collaborating with Sharp, PACE further expands its expertise in media delivery solutions for mobile devices into the portable multimedia application niche. PACE’s software is designed to extract maximum performance out of Sharp’s QCIF+ and QVGA reference designs by providing Sharp’s customers with superior audio and video decoding capabilities for popular standards, such as MPEG-4. The software’s optimization and support of various media platforms also helps Sharp’s OEM customers differentiate their products by offering a flexible, proven solution for the low cost media player market.

Sharp also plans to utilize encoding software from PACE to support its next-generation multimedia reference designs and system solutions. Software-based CODECs available in the future will include an MJPEG video encoder and a JPEG still picture encoder and decoder with support for up to 2 megapixels. The continued collaboration between Sharp and PACE will allow customers to enjoy reduced time to market when developing future generation products, or scaling their existing products to meet market demands.

“PACE’s software offers solid support for our existing reference design solutions, and is an ideal fit for our ARM-based processors,” said Christophe Chene, Senior Director of IC Marketing, Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas. “As we develop advanced next-generation multimedia devices, our relationship with PACE will ensure that our customers have access to a diverse set of CODECs to differentiate and improve the flexibility and scalability of their products.”

Faster video decoding enables market differentiation for media applications

PACE’s decoding software includes an MPEG-4 video decoder that delivers frame rates of up to 30 frames per second for the QCIF+, and 24 frames per second for the QVGA reference design. Additionally, PACE offers software support for popular MPEG-4 compatible video decoders, an MP3 audio decoder, GSM-AMR audio decoder and AAC audio decoder to meet the range of decompression standards required by media-rich, portable applications. By combining these software features with Sharp’s ARM-based chips that offer a wide choice of tools, operating systems and middle-ware, cost conscious developers have an ideal solution for media applications.

Other software that will be available to Sharp customers in the future includes a WMV9 video decoder, with support for up to 20 frames per second for the QCIF+ and 15 frames per second for the QVGA design, as well as a WMA9 audio decoder and DRM10 decoder. Additionally, PACE will offer G.726 and NB-AMR audio CODECs.

“OEM designers of A/V-centric devices face stiff competition and pressures to bring unique products to market quickly and cost effectively,” said Neil Salvi, CEO of PACE Soft Silicon. “PACE’s highly-optimized decoding software perfectly aligns with Sharp’s reference designs for portable, media-rich applications to deliver a superior audio and video product solution for Sharp’s customers.”

Sharp’s QCIF+ and QVGA reference designs with PACE’s software will be demonstrated in Sharp’s booth at the Embedded Systems Conference San Francisco, #2026.


Customers interested in learning about licensing requirements may contact PACE or Sharp. For more information about Sharp’s reference designs for multimedia applications, visit

About Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas

Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas, Camas, Wash., is a U.S.-based company and a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, which is a subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan. Sharp is a worldwide developer of core digital technologies that are playing an integral role in shaping the next generation of electronic products for consumer and business needs. Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas offers breakthrough memory, LCD, optoelectronics, CCD, RF/IR, microcontroller and System-on-Chip components, along with packaging and integration skills that help design engineers throughout North and South America bring their ambitious ideas to market. Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas was recently recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the 2004 Product Innovation Award winner for its line of BlueStreak microcontrollers and System-on-Chip. Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas is dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of advanced technology and a commitment to innovation, quality, value and design. For more information, visit

About PACE

PACE was founded in 2000 to focus upon delivering highly optimized software mobile media products and components on industry standard platforms and processors. PACE’s ability to take industry standard algorithms such as MPEG-4 and optimize and improve upon them, enables it to deliver video solutions that expand the media capabilities of mobile devices to deliver a superior mobile media experience to the consumer. PACE is highly experienced in delivering mobile media products and services to major tier 1 and tier 2 customers.

Note: All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited. ARM9 is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM” is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE:ARM) and (NASDAQ:ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; and ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.,; and ARM Belgium N.V.


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