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NVIDIA and Dolby unveil new program

The new SoundStorm Program ensures NVIDIA nForce2-based motherboards and turnkey PC systems are designed and produced to the high quality standards defined by NVIDIA, and must pass a rigorous testingprocess conducted by Dolby Laboratories before they will be validated as being Dolby Digital 5.1 and NVIDIA SoundStorm compliant. 

Motherboard companies and PC OEMs that introduce approved products will be afforded full marketing support and materials, and be allowed to use NVIDIA and the Dolby Digital logos and case badges for their product packaging, advertising and other promotional items.  The following products have already passed the validation process; more product approvals are pending.

  • Abit NF7-S motherboard
  • MSI K7N2G-ILSR motherboard
  • Shuttle SN41G2 small form-factor PC

“Every day, more and more Dolby Digital encoded audio content is available to the consumer—from interactive video games to DVDs,” said Greg Rodehau, Director of PC and Gaming Technology Marketing, Dolby Laboratories.  “NVIDIA SoundStorm helps deliver the Dolby Digital multichannel audio capabilities that consumers demand.”

The NVIDIA nForce2 platform is the only core-logic solution available today to include the real-time Dolby Digital 5.1encoder technology in silicon, allowing end users to enjoy a rich, vibrant audio experience for games, DVD movies and digital music.  This feature enables any audio source to be encoded as a true Dolby Digital 5.1 signal and output to high quality PC speakers or traditional home theater systems over a single digital cable.  This ensures the highest quality audio output while dramatically simplifying the hookup of multiple speaker systems to the PC.

Motherboards and PCs will only be approved if they offer the following features and specifications:

  • NVIDIA nForce2-based motherboards must use the NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T platform processor and include support for Dolby Digital 5.1 real-time encoding
  • Discrete (non-shared) front left and right analog outputs
  • Discrete (non-shared) rear left and right analog outputs
  • Discrete (non-shared) center and subwoofer analog outputs
  • Discrete (non-shared) S/PDIF digital output (coaxial recommended, but optical acceptable)
  • Discrete (non-shared) line-in analog inputs
  • Discrete (non-shared) microphone analog input
  • Minimum 85db signal-to-noise ratio on all analog outputs
  • Minimum 80db signal-to-noise ratio on all analog inputs
  • Dolby Digital testing and approval from Dolby and NVIDIA

“The NVIDIA nForce2 innovations, including real-time Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding, enhanced broadband connectivity, and leading system performance make it the premier platform for the digital home,” said Drew Henry, senior director of platform products at NVIDIA.  “NVIDIA SoundStorm enhances this digital platform further by enabling a ‘home theater experience’ using a PC as the technology foundation to drive cinematic audio and 3D content.”