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February 26, 2000



Sony to License "ATRAC 3 TM"



American and Japanese Semiconductor Chip Companies join Sony in promoting "ATRAC 3TM" Sound Compression Technology

February 26, 2000 - Sony Corporation today announced plans to license the LSI codec of the "ATRAC 3" sound compression technology developed by Sony to the following seven companies: Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi Ltd., Motorola, Inc. (Chicago, Illinois), NEC Corporation, ROHM CO., LTD., SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., Texas Instruments, Inc. (Texas, USA).

Licensing will allow these companies to develop and commercialize "ATRAC 3" compliant LSI, which will smoothen the development and commercialization of "ATRAC 3" compliant audio devices by hardware manufacturers.

"ATRAC 3" is a sound compression technology based on "ATRACTM" used for MiniDisc. Compared with "ATRAC", "ATRAC3" features a higher compression rate, while maintaining the same level of sound quality. It has been highly anticipated as a compression technology that enables music distribution with high sound quality. "ATRAC 3" has been commercialized through Memory Stick WalkmanTM and the "bitmusicTM" music distribution service by Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Inc. since December 1999.


"Today's announcement further demonstrates the capability of 'ATRAC 3' to link to a variety of electronics devices and recording media in addition to packaged media such as 'MiniDisc' and 'Memory Stick'. We believe that collaboration with a host of LSI manufacturers will play a key role for the wide acceptance of 'ATRAC 3' business especially because it is essential for us to have a variety of LSI codec specifications" said Shizuo Takashino, Corporate Senior Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation.

"Making a family of our Hi-perion DSP products compliant with 'ATRAC 3' as an audio codec will allow us to exponentially expand our DSP business in the silicon audio market in the future" said Joji Murakami, Doctor of Engineering General Manager, System Micro Division, Fujitsu Limited.

"We have already commercialized a system LSI compliant with 'Memory Stick', and we believe that today's announcement will help to further develop a wide rage of products" said Seiichi Ueda, General Manager of System LSI Marketing Division, Semiconductor & Integrated Circuits, Hitachi Ltd.

"We place a high value on digital AV business in consumer devices, and we anticipate to further expand our business through emergence of Sony's 'ATRAC 3' and our IP core/process technology" said Toshio Nakajima, General Manager of 1st System LSI Division, System LSI Operations Unit, NEC Corporation.

"We anticipate to quickly comply with a variety of data compression applications for users by incorporating Sony's 'ATRAC 3' sound compression technology in the future" said by Toshio Asai, Director of LSI Product Development Headquarters, ROHM CO., LTD.

"We have developed an ATRAC decoder featuring low-power consumption. We believe that utilizing the feature will enable to develop 'ATRAC 3' compliant devices and help to gain wide application" said Yasuhiko Okuyama, Deputy General Manager of MOS-LSI Division, Semiconductor Company, SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.


Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures, computer entertainment operations and on-line businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.
Sony's Home Page: http://www.sony.co.jp