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Intel intros new digital imaging CPU’s

Intel Corporation today unveiled two high-performance, programmable digital media microprocessors that have been optimized for the document imaging market segment. The new digital media processorswere developed in cooperation with Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX). Intel is now sampling the new processors to document processing manufacturers worldwide.

The Intel® MXP5800 and Intel® MXP5400 digital media processors are designed to perform complex tasks required in mid-range and high-end digital imaging products such as digital copiers, scanners, printers and multifunction devices. The processors combine the high performance of custom-made application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) with the programmability of a microprocessor. The new processors will allow document imaging manufacturers to significantly reduce their development costs and design cycles, and deliver products with ASIC-like performance that are based on programmable silicon building blocks.

The MXP5800 incorporates a scalable array of eight compute engines that combine data-flow-driven processors and specialized hardware accelerators to achieve high performance in digital media processing tasks. The MXP5400 contains four compute engines. Together, these two new processors allow document imaging manufacturers to deliver products that address a wide range of price and performance. In addition, multiple processors can be combined for even higher levels of performance. The multiple compute engines inside the processor are independently programmable; thus, each can perform a different operation in parallel.

The programmability of the two new digital media processors allows manufacturers to add new features and capabilities via software during the design cycle, or as an upgrade, after the products are already in use. In contrast, the lengthy development time for ASICs, typically 12 to 24 months, requires that the capabilities of the products be defined and integrated well in advance of their market debut. Additional features or changes in standards cannot be added at a later time. Manufacturers can also use the MXP5800 and MXP5400 across multiple product lines rather than designing and manufacturing a different ASIC for each product.

The development effort combined Intel’s expertise in designing and delivering high-performance programmable microprocessors with Xerox’s document imaging expertise. During the joint development effort, Xerox helped to refine the processor’s design by mapping complex document imaging algorithms to the processor as it was being developed. This assured the processor’s suitability for document imaging applications.

“The rapid pace of change in digital media is fueling explosive growth in the amount and complexity of digital images in the home and office, driving the need for high-performance, programmable media processing,” said Glenda Dorchak, vice president, Intel Communications Group, and general manager, Intel Consumer Electronics Group. “Working with Xerox allowed us to accelerate development of this new architecture. With today’s announcement of the MXP5800 and MXP5400 digital media processors, we will now take this exciting technology to the industry for digital imaging platforms.”

“This cooperative development effort is a great example of open innovation efforts that are becoming more common in today’s marketplace,” said Hervé Gallaire, president of the Xerox Innovation Group and the company’s chief technology officer. “The design of the MXP5800 builds on Xerox’s core competence in digital imaging. Going forward, Xerox will benefit directly from the performance, programmability and scalability of these new digital media processors. We can deliver a wider range of products, get them to market more quickly, and enhance our competitive edge in both features and performance as we transition to this new programmable chip.”

Manufacturers can purchase the Intel MXP5800 digital media processor development kit for $2,995. It includes the new digital media processor, PCI development card, programming tools, sample code and documentation. The MXP5800 is priced at $68 in quantities of 10,000, while the MXP5400 is priced at $51 in quantities of 10,000. Both will be available in volume by the end of the year. Detailed product information about the processors can be found at www.intel.com/go/imageprocessing.

Xerox, whose own imaging algorithms will be available for third-party license, is developing a range of digital imaging products that incorporate the MXP5800 and MXP5400. The company plans to introduce its first products with the new processors in 2004. Xerox also plans to license its own imaging algorithms to other companies for use with Intel’s new media processors.