3D-News Archive January 2004

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Xilinx Chips Help Bring 3D to Home Theaters in Sensio's Award Winning 3D Wireless System
3D-News Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2004 (3:33 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Xilinx(R) Spartan(R) Family of Low Cost Programmable Chips Enable Breakthrough 3D Innovation

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sensio(TM) and Xilinx, Inc., announced a collaboration that resulted in the breakthrough 3D video processing technology, SENSIO 3D, winner of the CES 2003 Product Innovation Award. Sensio credits Xilinx and its programmable chip technology with enabling the creative design and economic viability of its SENSIO 3D Video Processing system. The SENSIO system transforms conventional home theater into a 3D stereoscopic movie experience that rivals the best theme park experiences, using Xilinx low cost Spartan programmable chips as its central processing capability. The Sensio system recently featured as the cover story in Home Theatre magazine is on display January 8 - 11 in booth number 17226.

Sensio has met with major motion picture studios like MGM, IMAX, Dreamworks, LightSorm Entertianment and TroubleMaker Studios in efforts to build up a library of 3D movies under SENSIO 3D DVD. Sensio plans to have eight new 3D titles available in 2004 for about $40.00 CAN each. The Sensio system, consisting of a 17x 6.25-inch rack-style component compatible with commercial DVD and digital TV systems -- and the accompanying LCD-based wireless viewing glasses, is based on the processor's ability to alternatively display left and right stereo images and synchronously communicate to the shutters in the viewing glasses. The left-eye image and the right-eye image alternate every sixtieth of a second, creating the 3D effect for the viewer. Because objects can appear to be behind and in front of the screen, or shoot right through the audience, the screen itself virtually disappears, bringing the viewer directly into the heart of the action.

Xilinx Gains Traction in Consumer Space

Sensio is among a growing number of consumer product manufacturers to realize the competitive advantage afforded by Xilinx's low-cost programmable chips, versus traditional ASIC technology. Xilinx attributes its recent record-breaking gain to its focused market diversification efforts and the broad adoption of its low cost Spartan Series FPGAs in high-volume consumer applications.

"Xilinx FPGA technology is helping to shape the future of the digital age by harnessing the flexibility of a programmable device at cost points ideal for consumer products," said Clay Johnson, vice president and general manager of the General Products division at Xilinx. "Sensio's innovative application of our technology is a perfect example of our efforts in bringing the digital age to the consumer market."

Programmable approach from the start

Product developers at Sensio, a start-up based in Montreal, Quebec, were familiar with Xilinx technology from previous university research. Sensio considered the trade-offs between FPGA and ASIC implementations and ultimately decided that Xilinx programmable chips provided the superior price/performance and quality advantages, plus the added benefit of enhanced flexibility.

"By combining low cost, high performance, and a drastically reduced time- to-market advantage, Xilinx programmable chips provided the ideal platform for our 3D video processing system," said Pierre-Hugues Routhier, vice president of engineering at Sensio.

Stereo Photos from Mars
3D-News Posted: Monday, January 5, 2004 (13:00 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

NASA has made the first stereo photos taken with the Rover "Spirit" available. We will be preparing some of them during the next few days for your viewing pleasure.

This image taken by the hazard avoidance camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rover's rear lander petal and, in the background, the Martian horizon. Spirit took the picture right after successfully landing on the surface of Mars.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

3D-Pictures from the latest "Spirit" and "Opportunity" Missions, as well as from the first Mars-Mission (Pathfinder, 1997) are available at http://www.stereoscopy.com/mars

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