Dolby does AAC for ARM

Dolby Laboratories announced that ARM, a provider of embedded microprocessor Intellectual Property (IP), has entered into an agreement allowing it to develop an optimised version of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) technology for the ARM architecture. The ARM-optimized AAC implementation, available now through ARM, enables hardware manufacturers to create ARM Powered portable music playback devices capable of decoding high-quality music delivered via the Internet.

AAC is the latest audio coder standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as part of the MPEG specification. Compared to MPEG Layer-3, popularly known as MP3, AAC provides higher quality music while requiring approximately 30% less storage and/or bandwidth.

‘ARM has a successful track record of enabling consumer digital electronics, and to build on that, we’ve been developing a product portfolio that will enable us to take a leading position in the emerging digital audio market,’ said Dave Walsh, manager of ARM’s application software group. ‘By offering a highly optimized software implementation of MPEG-AAC for the ARM architecture, system designers have access to a total solution for developing high-quality SDMI-compliant digital audio devices.’

Several audio compression formats are vying for the prize of the successor technology to MP3. In order for the record industry to start encoding and releasing their musical assets in downloadable formats, the industry needs to be confident about two things: (1) that security mechanisms are in place so that their valuable content is not pirated, and (2) that high-quality playback systems are available to the worldwide mass market on a variety of platforms. For its part, AAC was cooperatively developed by the world’s leading audio compression experts, and is is being licensed by Dolby Laboratories.

‘It is very significant that ARM has chosen to provide AAC technology,’ said Ramzi Haidamus, Dolby Laboratories’ Technical/Business Strategist. ‘The availability of a high-quality AAC decoder implementation on an ARM processor core will help many OEMs get products to market this year. We will continue to work closely with ARM and its customers to make a solid business out of the amazing grass-roots phenomenon of downloadable music.’

For more information about AAC, visit the AAC website, www.aac-audio.com, or send email to aacla@dolby.com.