Radius Inc. is showing a prototype of its IEEE 1394 high-speed serial interface for PCI-based computers this week at Comdex in Las Vegas.
The technology demonstration is being held in conjunction with Texas Instruments at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the 1394 Trade Association break-out rooms (N225-226). The Radius 1394 interface is being used to capture still images from a Sony DCR-VX1000 digital camcorder to an Apple Power Macintosh 8500 running Adobe Photoshop.
"Our customers, primarily creative professionals in publishing and video, have expressed a great deal of interest in products based on 1394 technology," said Charles Berger, Radius President and Chief Executive Officer. "One of the most exciting opportunities is enabling digital input from a DV camcorder, which we believe will become a standard tool for many of our customers."
The IEEE 1394 serial bus, also known as "FireWire," has received widespread industry support and is expected to become the primary desktop computer connection for high-performance peripherals like digital video camcorders. Radius' 1394 interface is powered by Texas Instruments' 200 megabit per second PHY and PCILynx chips.
"We're using TI's chip set because its DMA engine is well-suited to dealing with the DV data stream and because it's here now," said Greg Millar, Chief Technology Officer for Radius. "We want to get to market as soon as possible and Texas Instruments is providing us with the kind of support we need to be successful."
"Radius is addressing a market need that has existed since Sony's introduction of the Digital Handycam last year," said Larry Blackledge, business manager for TI's serial bus products. "We believe that the 1394 port will become a required feature on digital camcorders in 1997 because the people buying them have computers and want to process the digital video images they record. Radius' technology provides a cost-effective way to get those images into and out of a computer."
In addition to still image capture, Radius is also demonstrating remote transport control of the camcorder over the 1394 cable. The technology is expected to appeal to both traditional and web-based publishers who need to acquire still images from a video source as well as to content creators who are using Apple's QuickTime VR to create 360 panoramas and objects for delivery via the web and CD-ROM.
"The nice thing about a 63 minute DV tape is that it can hold hundreds or even thousands of still images," said Steve Holmlund, product marketing manager at Radius. "The optics in the 3-CCD VX1000 are outstanding and the DV resolution is superior to many digital still cameras. This definitely has potential for users who need to gather lots of images, in addition to video footage, for the web and other media."
Radius expects to ship products based on the technology in the first half of 1997.
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