Philips introduced 5.1 accelerator for PC audio boards

To complement their work i the DVD field, Philips Semiconductors also announced the ThunderBird Avenger(TM) PCI audio accelerator today, the industry’s first PC audio solution to enable 5.1 channel playback of games, music and movies.

We have been waiting for such a PC solution seemingly forever but finally it is coming true. No more downconversion of 5.1 channel content, and more importantly, finally game developers can start to create full 5.1 surround content. The ThunderBird Avenger is also the industry’s only solution that combines high-performance hardware acceleration, effective two-speaker 3D virtualization and multi-channel speaker support, making it the ideal PC gaming and music solution for implementation by add-in card and motherboard manufacturers.

The ThunderBird Avenger, a specialized, programmable DSP controller, delivers a compelling combination of price, features and performance. Previously only a few applications such as 5.1 encoded DVDs and 3D audio games could be enjoyed in a home theatre 5.1 speaker format. Most other sources including music and most games could only be experienced in stereo. The ThunderBird Avenger is the only solution that transforms the PC into a home theatre providing 5.1 speaker playback of music CDs and videos, MP3 files and MIDI files. Any game or other interactive application can now also be experienced in a deeply immersive theater like environment surrounding the player in 5.1 channels of sound effects and music.

Let’s hope it won’t take too long until manufacturers pick up this chip to put it to use on their own boards.

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