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- Leading Companies Establish the Universal Home API Forum to Create Standard for the Converging Consumer Electronics Industry
PORTLAND, Ore. – November 1, 2004 – A group of leading consumer electronics (CE) and semiconductor companies including Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LSE (GDR): SSNHY, KSE: 05930.KS), Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), HP (NYSE, NASDAQ: HPQ), the Digital TV Industry Alliance of China (DTVIA) and ACCESS Co., Ltd., today announced the formation of the Universal Home Application Programmer Interface (UHAPI) Forum. The UHAPI Forum will standardize hardware-independent application programming interfaces (APIs) for analog and digital televisions, set top boxes, DVD players and recorders, personal video recorders (PVRs), home servers and other consumer audio/video (A/V) devices. The Forum invites other organizations to contribute to the UHAPI specification process and implement the UHAPI specification in their respective consumer A/V products.
Today’s CE devices are characterized by a rapid increase of functions and features. Furthermore, convergence is blurring the boundaries between traditional device categories. As a result, the amount of software in most CE products grows quickly. This creates an urgent need for a stable, hardware-independent API to bridge the middleware and application software from independent software vendors (ISVs) and CE vendors with the semiconductor solutions from integrated circuit (IC) manufacturers. The objective of the UHAPI is to serve as that bridge between ISVs, CE companies and semiconductor companies.
With the UHAPI implementation, ISVs and CE vendors can focus on developing new, innovative functions and features rather than dealing with the complex task of writing software code to a unique semiconductor hardware architecture for each product. Ultimately, CE silicon, products, systems and software applications will exhibit greater interoperability. This will also result in faster time-to-market for new features and products for the home.
The UHAPI consists of a set of hardware-independent software interfaces for configuring and controlling the A/V-related components of a consumer market semiconductor platform. The UHAPI complements leading operating systems and standards across the industry.
The UHAPI Forum is currently working on the UHAPI 1.0 specification for Analogue and Digital Television. The UHAPI 1.0 specification will enable the creation of middleware and application software on top of semiconductor-based systems for analogue and digital televisions and set-top boxes. The Forum plans to finalize, approve and publish this specification in January 2005. A beta-version of the UHAPI specification is currently available to members of the UHAPI Forum.
The future UHAPI 1.1 specification will include support for DVD playback, DVD recording and PVR functionality. Other applications and consumer functions can be added in due course.
About the UHAPI Forum
Founded in November 2004, the UHAPI Forum develops and maintains the universal home application programming interface (UHAPI) for the home consumer electronics (CE) industry. The UHAPI serves as a hardware-independent bridge between the CE and middleware or application software industries and the semiconductor industry. The technology enables middleware and application software to be easily ported across multiple device layers. Deployment of the UHAPI also frees software developers to focus solely on application development, which reduces development costs and speeds a product’s time-to-market. Current UHAPI Forum members include Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Royal Philips Electronics, HP, the Digital TV Industry Alliance of China and ACCESS Co., Ltd. For more information about the UHAPI Forum or to become a member, visit www.uhapi.org.
Samsung Electronics“With the formation of UHAPI Forum, we will be able to work cooperatively with other companies to promote an open universal interface that will speed up introduction of new features to support a large variety of products and services in the digital convergence,” said Don H. Lee, vice president of SOC R&D Center, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics. “This Forum’s importance to all involved industries is clearly illustrated by the membership commitments made by other prominent companies.”
Royal Philips Electronics “We welcome the UHAPI Forum as a cross-industry body to create and govern interface specifications intended to unite the consumer electronics industry by establishing a common architecture that allows for component interoperability,” said Leon Husson, executive vice president, Consumer Businesses of Philips Semiconductors. “We are convinced that UHAPI will help bring economy-of-scale advantages to the consumer electronics domain, resulting in faster innovation and more attractive products for the consumer.”
HP “HP believes that open industry standards are essential to drive the rapid development and expansion of emerging markets for our customers. We believe the UHAPI Forum will help to achieve significant scale through the promotion of open platforms that encourage innovation by many companies,” said Evan Smouse, director of strategic technology, HP.
Digital TV Industry Alliance of China “DTVIA (Digital TV Industry Alliance) as an industrial organization for stimulating Chinese DTV has being promoting open standards since its establishment. We have prepared standardization work and developed related technologies. It is our mission to cooperate with major international CE companies to promote industry development,” says Guo Ke, chairman of DTVIA. “To promote the UHAPI open standard together is very important for structuring a healthy industry value chain and encouraging technology innovation. We hope to establish a series of open standards and associate technologies to support industry development.”
ACCESS Co., Ltd. “ACCESS has long been a champion of open global software standards. Our participation of the UHAPI Forum serves not only as a testament to our continued focus on this goal, but also to the strong belief that this forum will unite the consumer electronics industry under common API standards that will promote innovation, provide cost savings and move the entire industry forward,” said Toru Arakawa, president and CEO of ACCESS.
Mediabolic, Inc. “As digital media is delivered to an increasingly complex array of hardware platforms, a universal standard for integrating with and developing on those platforms becomes increasingly important,” said Daniel Putterman, Mediabolic, Inc., CEO. “UHAPI is such a standard and Mediabolic is pleased to be working with the UHAPI Forum to shorten development times for the manufacturer and to deliver more choices to the consumer.”
About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2003 parent company sales of US$36.4 billion and net income of US$5.0 billion. Employing approximately 88,000 people in 89 offices in 46 countries, the company consists of six main business units: Corporate Technology Operations, Digital Appliance Business, Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business and Telecommunication Network Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest producer of color monitors, color TVs, memory chips, and TFT-LCDs. For more information, visit www.samsung.com.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of EUR 29 billion in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 165,600 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems. News from Philips is located at http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2004, HP revenue totaled $78.4 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, NASDAQ: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
About the Digital TV Industry Alliance of China
The Digital TV Industry Alliance (DTVIA) of China was set up in November 1998. It has more than 20 members including TV manufacturers, cable operators, broadcasters and strategic financial investors – including international participants. DTVIA will work to support the cable digital market through the development of key technologies and industry specifications, as well as supporting and undertaking government policies and projects. The members of DTVIA include Konka, TCL, SkyWorth, Xocec, Fujian Hitachi, SVA, Panda, ZhenJiang Com. Co., Soya, Hisen, Peony, C&W, BBEF, GreatWall (Tian Jin), NTC, Tong Fang, AutoSoft, SSMEC, ChuanJia Electronics, ZhongXing, Academy of Broadcasting Science (SARFT) and Research Institute of TV & Electro-Acoustics (MII) and others.
ACCESS Co. Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 4813) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with offices throughout the world including major centers in the U.S., Germany, and China. ACCESS is a leading global provider of mobile Internet technologies and consultation services for the beyond-PC market. ACCESS’ NetFront™browser technology powers 293 different commercial products worldwide including mobile phones, digital televisions, set-top boxes, game consoles, PDAs, car navigation systems, web phones, kiosk terminals and intranet terminals. ACCESS’ NetFront browser technology is most widely deployed in mobile phones for NTT DoCoMo’s popular i-mode and FOMA™ services. To date, over 139 million ACCESS software licenses have shipped from more than 90 major Internet device manufactures. ACCESS was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market on February 26, 2001. More information is available at www.access.co.jp/english/ or www.access-us-inc.com.
ACCESS is a registered trademark in Japan. NetFront and Compact NetFront are registered trademarks of ACCESS Co., Ltd. in Japan. FOMA and i-mode are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and in other countries. NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA service is available only to subscribers in Japan. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.
ACCESS Co., Ltd., Japan
+81 (3) 5259-3685
Access China Inc.
+86 (10) 6566-9636
ACCESS Systems Europe GmbH
49 (208) 8290-6432
ACCESS Co., Ltd. U.S. Branch
|Bite Communications||Anne-miek Hamelinck
|VTM PR for The UHAPI Forum||Heather Ailara