Feeds

German boffins win prize for 'MP3 for phones'

iPhone, iPad FaceTime tech now obsolete

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Remorseless German boffins are patting themselves on the back after winning a prize for their efforts developing "MP3 for phone calls".

The prize in question is one of the three 2011 Joseph von Fraunhofer awards, given annually to the top researchers across Germany's mighty Fraunhofer Institutes.

One of the best known of these is the Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen (IIS - the Institute for Integrated Circuits) in Erlangen, where as most Reg readers will know the famous mp3 audio codec was developed.

Everyone loves MP3, but it isn't perfect - it's not suitable for phone calls and particularly for videoconferencing, as it takes too long to compress and decompress audio, introducing unacceptable latency.

"The algorithm requires a certain amount of time to encode the data and to decode it again at the other end of the line," explains top IIS boffin Markus Schnell. "The process requires data that is still in the future, as it must wait for the data to arrive. This can result in a situation where interactive communication is very difficult."

This situation was naturally intolerable to Schnell and his colleagues at IIS, and they set to work to develop a new technology: Enhanced Low Delay Advanced Audio Coding, or AAC-ELD. This compresses audio data down by a factor of 30, but introduces latency of only 15 milliseconds.

This impressive performance has scooped a €20,000 Jospeh von Fraunhofer prize purse for Schnell and his fellow-boffins Marc Gayer and Manfred Lutzky, who accept the prize jointly on behalf of the AAC team.

An earlier version of the tech, AAC-LD (as opposed to -ELD), is already in use in videoconferencing systems and live sports reporting. It is also to be found in the FaceTime vid-call applications found in the latest iPhones and iPads, as well as online multiplayer gaming systems. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi
These are the movement detection devices you're looking for
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?