Brooktree is an American company founded in 1983 by Henry Katzenstein that manufactures digital-to-analog converters that are three to eight times faster than the converters on the market.
Brooktree's best-known products include the Bt8x8 family of chipsets. They were often used in TV tuner boards for computers.
The company was bought out by Rockwell Semiconductor in 1996, which became Conexant in 1998. In turn, one of the latest Brooktree multimedia projects in 1994-96 was the BtV®21XX chipset for video cards (or rather multimedia combines).
Here is the announcement of the key-points of this architecture.
In 1994, Brooktree launched its BtV® MediaStream family of highly integrated multimedia components, representing the first complete solution offered by a single supplier for the latest generation of media-enabled applications. The BtV® family is the first in a new category of multimedia subsystems that accelerate sound, graphics, and video, all in a single, fully integrated solution for mainstream personal computers. This contrasts with competitive solutions that simply bolt video and sound circuitry onto existing GUI acceleration engines, accelerate each data type independently, and generally consist of a hard-to-manage collection of chips, boards, and software from separate vendors.
The BtV® MediaStream family brings together Brooktree's mixed signal technologies in graphics, video, audio, and DSP to provide unprecedented performance and efficiency in a single unified architecture. By integrating this powerful hardware technology with a comprehensive software support library of utilities, drivers, and BIOS (including Microsoft Plug and Play compliance), BtV® allows OEMs to quickly bring comprehensive multimedia capability to the market.
Defined from the ground up, BtV® achieves the most efficient use of silicon, memory, and CPU cycles for multimedia functions. This resulted in the patented MediaPacket Architecture that provides the most efficient multimedia accelerator system in an extensible architecture.
Traditionally, graphics, video, and audio subsystems utilized separate memory spaces and bus connections because of independent controllers with incompatible data types. Wasted memory space and memory bandwidth, duplicated bus interface logic, and wasted CPU cycles to manage independent subsystems resulted. Consequently, the cost of providing these capabilities has been an expensive proposition.
Brooktree's MediaPacket Architecture, made for the mainstream PC market, solves this problem by integrating the disparate data types of graphics, audio, and video. At the heart of this architecture is a single media controller that works with a common buffer capable of caching the various multimedia data types.
In 1995, Brooktree introduced WaveStream, a software-only, high-quality synthesizer, designed specifically for the PC multimedia environment. This product offers a high-performance, next-generation PC sound solution for OEMs, content developers, and end-users who want the PC industry's highest standard of sound quality without requiring expensive sound hardware, and without losing the ability to play General MIDI-compatible games and software in DOS. By providing this software module, Brooktree has given multimedia systems a significant quality improvement without the need for an expensive, dedicated DSP hardware and memory subsystem.
Click the links below to download a complete description of the BtV® MediaStream(TM) architecture, as well as a description of the individual chips included in it.
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