Tuesday, September 14, 2000
As the Internet bursts with billions of Web pages, the computer
servers that make it tick are filling to the brim as they struggle to keep up.
It takes some serious computing power to organize the databases full of text
pages, credit card numbers, splashy e-commerce sites, and real-time Web cams.
Any webmaster can tell you that video and audio files take up the
most space, overwhelming modem lines with megabytes of data. One solution to the
challenge of fitting data-heavy audiovisual data over computer lines may be
Nogatech's USBvision™ (www.nogatech.com).
It's a chip technology that compresses digital video images and provides network
connections between video devices and computers. It enables engineers to build
video-based products like digital cameras and PC-TVs or to send real-time video
and audio data to handheld devices.
The chip provides still-image capture at a resolution of 640 x 480
pixels, and pumps video images through the cable at a rate of 15 fps (frames per
second) for VGA (the analog, minimum PC display standard) and 30 fps for CIF (a
videoconferencing format standard). The chip is optimized for Windows Me, the
new "Millennium Edition" OS released last week by Microsoft.
Another approach to the problem of Internet image bloat is JBIG2
(www.imagepower.com), a new
black-and-white image compression technology recently approved as an
international standard. JBIG2 is actually a software-based decompression
standard, capable of decompressing images as quickly as one giga-pixel per
second. It is designed for use with Internet imaging, and with desktop and
embedded functions such as facsimile, printing, and scanning.