Thursday December 12 9:36 AM EDT
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 12, 1996--
Rockwell announces agreement to purchase assets and hire development team from Weitek Corp. to provide the nucleus for a design center in San Jose.
Rockwell Semiconductor Systems today announced it will open a multimedia product design center here that will be operated by the company's Brooktree Division.
To launch the new facility, Rockwell has signed an asset purchase agreement with Weitek Corp. that will provide equipment and a leased facility in which to start operations. Rockwell has also offered employment to approximately 20 engineers and other employees from Weitek.
The new design center will mark Rockwell's first step toward significantly expanding its presence in the PC multimedia accelerator chip market following its acquisition of Brooktree Corp. in September 1996. The center will augment existing multimedia design operations in San Diego and Austin, Texas, and expand the engineering and development resources that are now available for the Brooktree Division's multimedia accelerator chip business.
"The establishment of a San Jose design center increases our presence in the multimedia marketplace and adds key resources for a variety of strategic development programs," said David Gelvin, vice president, Brooktree Division of Rockwell Semiconductor Systems.
"This is a fast-paced market, and we're in the unique position of being able to very quickly launch a major design operation. This design operation will allow us to accelerate the timetable for moving our innovative multimedia technology into the mainstream PC and add-in card market, and positioning ourselves to capture a sizeable share of that market during 1997 and beyond."
Rockwell's Brooktree Division plans to expand the design center's core engineering team, and is actively recruiting design, management and marketing personnel to accelerate a variety of key existing and planned product development programs.
Rockwell intends to purchase certain Weitek equipment and other assets and formally assume Weitek's lease of its 30,000-square-foot facility here. Rockwell also will acquire a license to proprietary Weitek Technology, including Weitek's Universal Memory Architecture (UMA) and floating-point processor technology.
The transaction is subject to court approval of Weitek's bankruptcy plan, which Weitek submitted today as part of a voluntary filing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
In November 1996, Rockwell's Brooktree Division announced the first in a planned family of low-cost, high-performance multimedia chips for mainstream consumer entertainment PCs.
The Bt2164 video/graphics controller combines high-resolution 2D graphics plus game-quality 3D and theater-quality video, and leverages a unique MediaPacket architecture to ensure a seamless blending of video and graphics data in the rich Windows 95 environment.
The Bt2164 also features the company's TrueView technology, which optimizes the display fidelity of TV-style interlaced video sources on the non-interlaced screens of high-resolution computer displays. The Bt2164 is one of the first multimedia chips at its price capable of handling the full-size, full-quality MPEG-2 frames of advanced digital video sources like DVD and satellite-delivered digital video.
The Brooktree Division has also announced plans for a mainstream, single-chip 3D controller that is being jointly designed with Argonaut Ltd., a leader in 3D video games and hardware technology. Slated for release in the first quarter of 1997, the chip will be based on a low-cost 3D hardware engine that will be one of the first designed specifically to accelerate 3D games in the Windows 95 Direct3D gaming environment.
The 3D chip will support the unique combination of 2D graphics, smooth and realistic 3D graphics, plus high-fidelity, full-motion video from CDs, NTSC/PAL sources and advanced MPEG-2 video sources like DVD and direct-broadcast satellite.
Rockwell Semiconductor Systems is the fastest growing business segment of Rockwell. Based in Newport Beach, Calif., it comprises the Multimedia Communications Division, the Wireless Communications Division and the newly acquired Brooktree Division.
The Multimedia Communications Division is the world leader in facsimile and PC modem devices for personal communications electronics. The Wireless Communications Division offers total system solutions for advanced cordless telephony and global positioning systems (GPS) receiver engines and is developing products and technologies to address the Personal Communications Services (PCS) and wireless packet data markets.
The Brooktree Division is a leading producer of high-performance digital and mixed-signal integrated circuits for multimedia, graphics, communications and imaging applications.
Rockwell's industrial automation, semiconductor systems, avionics and communications systems and automotive component systems businesses are leading providers of technology solutions to customers worldwide. The company has annual revenues in excess of $10 billion and employs nearly 60,000 people.
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