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PhotoAccess announces PhotoChip

Jun 19, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Here's an interesting announcement from a surprising source "PhotoAccess.com Corporation, a leading provider of digital imaging solutions for the Internet, today announced the availability of its PhotoChip(tm), the world's fastest digital image processing chip for use in digital cameras."... ..."features an "instant-on'' environment and throughput rates of up to 24 megapixels per second - significantly faster than any other application specific integrated circuit or DSP available"

Full press release:

PhotoAccess Announces Availability of PhotoChip

The world's fastest digital camera engine

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 19, 2000-- PhotoAccess.com Corporation, a leading provider of digital imaging solutions for the Internet, today announced the availability of its PhotoChip(tm), the world's fastest digital image processing chip for use in digital cameras.

The PhotoChip, the Company's first generation digital imaging processor, features an "instant-on'' environment and throughput rates of up to 24 megapixels per second - significantly faster than any other application specific integrated circuit or DSP available (digital cameras today typically process images at 3 to 4 megapixels per second). With significantly increased processing speed, the PhotoChip can deliver color data at rates up to 36 bits per second, providing superior color images. Moreover, the proprietary PhotoChip eliminates the typical lag time encountered with digital cameras when previewing images on an LCD panel immediately after a photo is taken. The high-quality PhotoChip can enable digital cameras to capture a rapid succession of digital images with minimal lag time.

The PhotoChip is being coupled with an advanced system design for an Internet-enabled eCamera being developed by PhotoAccess.com. The proprietary eCamera will allow digital photo consumers to connect directly to the Internet to upload, e-mail and process digital images without having to connect to a PC or Mac computer. Availability of the eCamera is anticipated before the end of 2000. PhotoAccess.com is seeking corporate partners with interest in the PhotoChip or eCamera system design. To find out more, please direct all inquiries to PhotoChip@photoaccess.com.

According to market research firm, International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide digital still-camera market for 1999 was 6.6 million units. Projections for 2004 exceed 40 million units, growing at a cumulative annual growth rate of 45 percent.

"Digital cameras need to become more user friendly by mimicking the ready-to-go nature of traditional film cameras. Similarly, they should provide photo consumers with a very simple and quick way to get photographic prints and share them without having to use a PC,'' said Mammad Safai, vice president and general manager of eCamera Systems at PhotoAccess.com.

"The PhotoChip's superior performance, high-quality and flexible architecture makes it an ideal candidate for digital camera manufacturers that want to put digital cameras out onto the market quickly. With our PhotoChip reference design, digital camera designers can provide a family of cameras by simply changing sensor boards and firmware.''

About the PhotoChip(tm)

The highly scaleable and programmable PhotoChip is designed to perform signal processing in pipelined silicon, allowing each stage of image processing to occur simultaneously, and thereby attaining unprecedented processing speed. Additional features of the PhotoChip include:

About PhotoAccess

Founded in 1997, PhotoAccess.com is a leading provider of digital imaging solutions for the Internet. Its mission is to provide partners and consumers worldwide with the most convenient, cost-effective way to obtain film-quality prints from digital photos. The privately funded company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in Seattle, Washington, and Tokyo, Japan. PhotoAccess recently expanded into Asia, founding PhotoAccess.com K.K. and launching their Japanese Web site, www.PhotoAccess.co.jp. PhotoAccess has received venture capital funding from AVI Capital, JAFCO America and Allegro Capital. For more information on PhotoAccess and its products, please visit the U.S. Web site at www.PhotoAccess.com.

Phil says: Sounds impressive, but I'm not sure how good it'll be for producing a competitive open market for photo finishing, the PhotoChip seems to be part of PhotoAccess's overall vision for getting images printed: