Press Release




Andy Marken Carol Kaplan

Marken Communications, Inc. Sigma Designs, Inc.

Tel: (408) 986-0100 Tel: (408) 957-9891

Fax: (408) 986-0162 Fax: (408) 957-9740

[email protected] [email protected]

For Immediate Release

Sigma Designs Launches Next-Generation REALmagic Decoder for Consumer Applications

REALmagic EM8400 Enables Streaming Video for Set-Top Boxes, Home Theater DVD Players, In-Car Entertainment Applications

MILPITAS, CA (September 20, 1999) - Leveraging the technology that has made its REALmagicâ digital video playback silicon the industry de facto standard in the PC environment, Sigma Designsâ , Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGM) announced today a new chip that sets the stage for Sigma's entry into consumer applications. The REALmagic EM8400 integrates a proprietary 80 mips RISC core, Content Scrambling System (CSS) copy protection, DVD/MPEG-2 decoding, AC-3 decoding, TV encoding, and hardware program stream demux in a single chip. The first MPEG-2 decoder to upconvert DVD video to progressive HDTV formats, the EM8400 is positioned as the ideal solution for consumer home theater DVD players, streaming video client applications, and Web DVD set-top boxes.

"Sigma's REALmagic silicon has been recognized in the PC space for DVD playback and for streaming video applications; now the EM8400 is our launch pad into the consumer space," stated William K. Wong, Sigma's vice president of marketing. "The EM8400 will become the basis for consumer products such as home theater progressive DVD players at an affordable cost, set-top boxes for video-on-demand, and low-power applications such as in-car entertainment DVD players and portable DVD players. With its highly-integrated hardware decoding functions and next-generation 0.25-micron, 2.5 volt CMOS technology, the EM8400 is an ideal choice for consumer applications such as set-top boxes, in which continuous operation with low heat, low-noise generation and low-end controller requirements are important. Furthermore, manufacturers can leverage our ACPI power management feature to support 'Instant On' capability, essential in consumer set-top box appliances."

Sigma's EM8400 decoder silicon can be used in progressive DVD players, representing a breakthrough in DVD technology. Progressive scanning, one of the modes of digital television, recreates the picture quality of the cinema right on home TVs. The TV signal we are used to today uses interlaced scanning to project alternate lines of picture information. Progressive scanning transmits a full 480-line frame in the same amount of time. Sigma's EM8400, which can achieve HDTV resolution from standard DVD titles, yields up to six times the resolution and clarity of other progressive scan DVD players on the market today.

Princeton Graphics will provide a progressive DVD playback technology demonstration at CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) Expo '99, to be held September 22-26 in Indianapolis. In describing the benefits of Sigma's EM8400, William Wang, chairman and chief executive officer of Princeton Graphic Systems, explained, "Picture quality on the new digital TVs coming to market is only as good as the decoding source. Sigma's EM8400 DVD decoder produces 'true' progressive video. Sigma has leveraged its MPEG technology expertise to bring state-of-the-art HDTV picture quality to the huge library of existing DVD titles. I expect the availability of Sigma's technology to accelerate digital TV sales."

The BocaVisionÔ ST2001 Internet/information appliance, or set-top box, will incorporate Sigma's advanced EM8400 DVD/MPEG-2 decoder chip along with National's GXm CPU. With the ST2001, users will have a single solution for browsing the Web, sending/receiving e-mail, performing personal computer functions, and playing DVD titles. Boca Research and Sigma have demonstrated the video-on-demand capabilities of this set-top box. An interactive TV user interface enables any telephone company/ADSL, satellite, or cable systems supplier the ability to provide to their customers on-demand movie channels along with new interactive video services in a user-friendly, manageable package. "HDTV, Internet-based systems, and DVD players are converging," said Larry L. Light, chief technology officer for Boca Research. "The BocaVision ST2001, with Sigma's decoder silicon, will leverage the many new opportunities in interactive TV."

Supporting Windowsâ 95, 98, and NT 4.0 as well as embedded operating systems, the EM8400 will ship with drivers for QNX, VxWorks, and Windows CE, supporting Microsoftâ (Nasdaq: MSFT) TV for Web DVD set-top boxes.

Sigma worked with Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC) to bring high-quality DVD playback to Intel's in-car computing platform. "Sigma's new EM8400 silicon will be incorporated into Intel's upcoming in-car computing reference platform," said Mike Iannitti, director of Intel's In-Car Computing Operation. "By adding Sigma's new DVD video playback chip to Intel's platform, rear-seat passengers will have the ability to watch movies, therefore making their trip more exciting."

Evaluation samples of the EM8400 will be available in October, and mass production is slated for Q4'99. EM8400 is expected to be available in 1000-piece quantities at $39 per piece.

About Sigma Designs:

Sigma Designs is an acknowledged leader in the fast-growing digital video market. Sigma specializes in digital video encoding/decoding for the PC DVD market, for video streaming over corporate Intranets and extranets, and for the emerging set-top box/information appliance market. Sigma is a driving force in advancement of digital video technology used in high-speed, high-bandwidth transmission for business, home, and education markets. Sigma Designs' products, marketed under the REALmagic trade name, are sold worldwide through a direct sales force, distributors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). For additional information, visit the Company's web site at http://www.sigmadesigns.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the DVD market and the set-top box market, as well as the features of certain MPEG and DVD products offered by the Company in these markets that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may vary due to a number of factors including, but not limited to, growth of the multimedia market in general and growth of Sigma products in this market, the ability of the Company's REALmagic DVD/MPEG silicon to compete with other technologies in these emerging markets, and the risk that such products will not gain widespread acceptance or will be rendered obsolete by product offerings of competitors, or by alternative technologies.

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Editors and Analysts: For further information, photographs and interviews, please contact Andy Marken, [email protected] or 408-986-0100.

REALmagic and Sigma Designs are registered trademarks of Sigma Designs. Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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