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Vivace Semiconductor -- Secure Video Processing Chips
Founded: Dec 2005
Status: Private
Issue(s): 2/06
100 Cummings Center, Suite 341C
Beverly, MA 01915
Tel: 617.834.6607
Fax: 978.927.0999

See Improv profile too.

Vivace Semiconductor was founded in December 2005 “to create and deliver new secure video processing chips to address the needs of next generation consumer electronic products.”

Vivace is targeting video-enabled consumer devices, specifically portable media players and integrated DTV systems. In addition, the company can support low cost LCD displays incorporating direct video decompression and playback.

Through a combination of customized processors, highly optimized firmware and silicon proven IP, Vivace is creating chips that address the requirements of media processing. The chips support multiple video compression standards including H264/MPEG4 AVC, MPEG4 ASP, Windows Media 9, MPEG2 and VC-1 and multiple encryption standards including AES, DES, 3-DES and DVB CSA at low clock rates. An integrated software development environment supports programming on multiple, heterogeneous on-chip processors.

The low power VSP200 secure video processing chip is designed for portable video players. The VSP300 secure video processing chip is designed for high-definition integrated DTV devices and enables high quality video integrated into a platform that supports wireless access to high definition streams.

Both devices support multiple media and DRM standards, run Linux OS, are supported by a complete development environment, and come complete with a full application library. Vivace chose Linux as the operating system for the RISC CPU due to it’s native support for real-time functionality, multi-processing and multi-threaded execution along with an extensive list of bundled software components including rich networking and graphics.

Vivace’s video processors are based on the ViViD Media engine, a highly optimized multi-processor core incorporating proprietary accelerators for video and audio processing, and encryption. The processor is created using Improv Systems’ JazzDSP Composer tool. Vivace adds custom accelerators for video processing and decompression tasks including support for AES, DES, 3-DES and DVB. Vivace is a customer of Improv and is a separate company that has licensed and is using Improv’s technology in its chip. Improv is an ongoing and cash flow positive entity.

The ViViD engine supports a number of software modules that can be loaded into the processor for processing including: H264/AVC/MPEG 4 Level 10, MPEG4 ASP, MPEG2 HL@MP, Windows Media 9 Video, MP3 Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Prologic Audio, AAC Audio, Windows Media 9 Audio, and DRM. Other features include image compression and processing such as JPEG compression, scaling, rotation, and color space conversion. Vivace will be ‘officially’ unveiling in early March.

Cary Ussery, President & CEO, Founder (founder, President & CEO of Improv Systems and previously Group Director of Core Technology for Cadence’s Alta Business Unit)

Bryan Greear, VP of Sales and Marketing (previously SVP of Sales and Marketing with NS8 and held senior management roles at Improv Systems, Philips Semi and Siemens/Infineon)

Mark Indovina, VP of Engineering & CTO, Founder (VP of Engineering at Improv Systems and previously Director of Engineering for the Digital IC Design Group of Cadence)

Richard Wanzenried, Director of Hardware Engineering, Founder (previously a senior engineer at Cadence and Improv Systems)

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