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Sigma Designs Announces Linux Support for DVD and MPEG Video Streaming

Sigma Also Announces Linux-Based Set-Top Box Design Win

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 2000--Sigma Designs®, Inc., a recognized leader in digital video solutions, announced today that it will add Linux support to its new REALmagic® NetStream(TM) 2000 card and EM8400 progressive MPEG-2/DVD decoder chip. Sigma will demonstrate Linux DVD playback at InfoValue Computing's Booth 274-276 during the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo this week at New York's Jacob Javits Center.

Additionally, Sigma and Eagle Wireless International have announced that Eagle has selected Sigma's EM8400 chip for its Webflyer Linux-based Convergence Set-Top Box products. The Eagle Wireless CSTB(TM) featuring REALmagic decoder silicon on the motherboard for DVD and streaming MPEG-2 playback is designed for residential deployment by broadband ISPs. Eagle chose Sigma's REALmagic decoder silicon to help ensure that the Webflyer Linux set-top box meets customers' video quality requirements.

"Eagle is extremely pleased that Sigma is supporting a Linux driver for the EM8400 chip used in Eagle's convergent set-top box (CSTB)," stated Dr. Dean H. Cubley, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Wireless. "Eagle has already received large orders for the Linux-based version of our Webflyer set-top box, and the excellent support of Sigma Designs as our technology partner reinforces the timely delivery of these orders. In addition, Eagle is looking forward to incorporating the Linux driver in a wide range of set-top box and Internet access products in the near future." For more information, visit the Eagle Wireless website at

Sigma's NetStream 2000 card, which includes the EM8400 chip, is the first MPEG-2/DVD playback product to support the Linux operating system. NetStream 2000 is specifically designed for flawless-quality MPEG-2 and progressive DVD digital video playback on VGA monitors and TV screens. It is an affordable, plug-and-play solution for client playback of streaming video across Ethernet and ATM networks. NetStream 2000 also features a powerful software toolkit that supports high-performance, interactive digital video applications such as kiosks, video walls, ATM machines, and corporate training.

Sigma's EM8400 is a highly integrated decoder for DVD and MPEG-2 video. Its feature set ensures that it can be incorporated into a wide variety of set-top digital video appliances at a lower cost than competitive parts. Further increasing its popularity is DVD and streaming video software support for a wide range of platforms, including interactive TV software provided by Liberate TV Navigator and Microsoft TV, as well as drivers for operating systems such as Windows® 95/98/NT4.0/2000 and CE, VxWorks, QNX, and Linux. This enables not only standalone DVD player designs but also integrated designs that support web browsing with video in a window, video over ADSL, digital VCRs, interactive television, and more.

"The real strength of Linux is its strong community," noted Marshall Goldberg, Sigma's director of marketing. "The key to our success with Linux lies in understanding and working with this community."

Linux, the UNIX derivative developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, is becoming an increasingly popular platform for businesses because it is a cost-effective, open-standard operating system that delivers scalability and reliability. Linux installations tripled to 15 million users last year; and International Data Corp. (IDC), which named Linux the fastest-growing server operating environment in 1998, estimates that Linux accounts for 17 percent of server installations and that there will be an annual growth rate of 25 percent.

"Demand for Linux has been very strong from both OEM and end-user customers," said William K. Wong, Sigma's vice president of marketing. "Our silicon is ideal for a wide range of applications that Linux supports, such as analog video servers, streaming video clients, and desktop computing, and we're delighted to be able to announce a Linux design win."


Samples of the EM8400 are available for immediate delivery, and production quantities are available 30 days ARO.

Supporting a wide range of video servers as well as DVD-Video, NetStream 2000 is available for immediate delivery through major resellers and distributors worldwide.

The developer release of the Linux driver is expected by February 28, 2000, and end-user availability for most Linux graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is expected by Q2/2000.

About Sigma Designs:

Sigma Designs is an acknowledged leader in the fast-growing digital video market. Sigma specializes in digital video encoding/decoding for the PC DVD market, for video streaming over corporate/organizational Intranets and extranets, and for the emerging set-top box/information appliance market. Sigma is a driving force in advancement of digital video technology used in high-speed, high-bandwidth transmission for business, home, and education markets. Sigma Designs' products, marketed under the REALmagic trade name, are sold worldwide through a direct sales force, distributors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). For additional information, visit the Company's web site at

Editors and Analysts: For further information and interviews, please contact Andy Marken, [email protected] or 408/986-0100.

REALmagic and Sigma Designs are registered trademarks, and NetStream is a trademark of Sigma Designs. All other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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