Apple, Compaq, Matsushita (Panasonic), Philips, Sony and Toshiba
Announce Support for IEEE1394 and Plans To Form Patent Pool
(Tokyo, Eindhoven, Cupertino, CA - February 17, 1999 ) -- Apple Computer, Inc., Compaq Computer Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation today announced their support of the high-speed IEEE1394 digital interface and their intention to form a patent pool to efficiently license patents required to implement the standard. The six companies will work together to create a joint licensing program and promote the industry-wide adoption of IEEE1394.
"IEEE1394 is poised to become the most widely used industry standard to interconnect consumer electronics and personal computer devices," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "We want to pave the way for both the consumer electronics and the personal computer industries to adopt this powerful digital interface."
IEEE1394 was invented by Apple and was adopted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as an industry standard in 1995. Offering data transfer rates up to 400 megabits per second, IEEE1394 has become the standard for transferring digital video, and over three million digital camcorders with built-in IEEE1394 have been sold to date. IEEE1394 is being incorporated into an ever-increasing array of consumer multimedia devices, such as set-top boxes and digital VCRs, and is poised to become the next generation industry-standard for connecting personal computers to high-speed peripherals such as printers, scanners and disk drives.
"Compaq supports the wide adoption of IEEE 1394 technologies and the efforts of the 1394 patent consortium. We believe that this alliance will ensure acceptance of this standard throughout the personal computer and consumer electronics industries by making the licensing of the key technologies easy and affordable," said Jerry Meerkatz, Vice President of Compaq Corporation's Commercial Desktop Division. "The world is evolving into a digital-based workplace and these technologies will allow for broader connections between digital consumer electronics equipment and personal computers, making it easier to use products."
"We believe that this agreement will accelerate the networking of digital audio/video and computer related products along with the wide spread of IEEE1394 technology, bringing greater benefits to consumers," said Dr. Yoshitomi Nagaoka, Vice President of Matsushita Electric Industrial's Divisional AVC Company.
"IEEE1394 offers a simple standard connection for consumers so that they can easily connect all kinds of consumer electronics and PC products. Its high speed makes it the viable digital interface for advanced real-time multimedia applications in the home network environment', says Eddy Odijk, General Manager, Systems Architectures, at Philips Consumer Electronics. "We are confident that licensing initiatives will fuel rapid adoption of IEEE1394 throughout the CE and PC industries."
"Sony leads the industry in the implementation of the IEEE1394 technology under the familiar i.LINK name and logo," said Kunitake Ando, President of Sony Corporation's Divisional Information Technology Company. "Today's agreement solidifies IEEE1394's position as the industry standard digital interface connection for PCs, computer peripherals, and digital AV products."
"Toshiba expects this patent pool to provide the whole multimedia industry with excellent opportunities for growth and diversification in the high-speed IEEE 1394 digital interface standard technologies for personal computers and consumer electronics," said Tetsuya Mizoguchi, Senior Vice-President of Toshiba Corporation. "We are pleased to join and promote this useful patent pool in close cooperation with the other member companies."
About Apple Computer, Inc.
Apple Computer, Inc. ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II, and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is now recommitted to its original mission -- to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.About Compaq Computer Corporation
Compaq Computer Corporation is a Fortune Global 100 company. Compaq is the second largest computer company in the world and the largest global supplier of computing systems. Compaq develops and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, networking and communication products, commercial desktop and portable products and consumer PCs. The company is an industry leader in environmentally friendly programs and business practices. Compaq products are sold and supported in more than 100 countries through a network of authorized Compaq marketing partners. Customer support and information about Compaq and its products are available athttp://www.compaq.com.About Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) is one of the world's leading developer and producers of digital electronic products for the home, the office, and in between. Based in Osaka, Japan, it recorded annual sales of $59.8 billion in the last fiscal year. Best known for the Panasonic brand name, the company also sells products under the Technics, Quasar, and National brands around the world. For information on Panasonic and Matsushita visit our Web site atwww.panasonic.com.About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of US$ 33.9 billion in 1998. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for television and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 233,700 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, business electronics, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at www.news.philips.com.About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $51 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998, and it employs 173,000 people worldwide. Sony's home page URL: http://www.sony.co.jp/About Toshiba Corporation
Based in Tokyo, Toshiba Corporation is a world leader in electronic technology. With over 187,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over $40 billion, Toshiba is an integrated manufacturer of products spanning information and communications systems, information media and consumer products, electronic components, and power systems and industrial equipment.