<center>NVIDIA Confirms SoundStorm Audio Processor
SoundStorm Strikes
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An old rumor from October 2001 about NVIDIA’s audio processor was finally confirmed by the company itself on the 23rd of September, a reader pointed out. The company will presumably unveil a special audio processor for add-in audio cards at some point competing with Creative Labs and a couple of minor players of audio market.

NVIDIA’s nForce2 MCP-T provides some impressive audio technologies for gaming, watching movies and listening to music, whereas the newer nForce3 series does not integrate the advanced audio capabilities due to chip complexity constraints. Since the company is heading to single-chip core-logic products, it is unlikely that NVIDIA will cope with integrating advanced audio into those chips. Moreover, being a semiconductor company, NVIDIA is interested in selling more processors; it does not really make difference between the intentions of those chips.

In early 2000 NVIDIA acquired virtually the whole patent portfolio as well as hired development staff from Aureal – a well-known maker of audio solutions from the late nineties – that was not successful, but invented some interesting audio technologies. As a result, NVIDIA has been about to enter a new market for itself for some time now, at least, the company has had everything that is required for this.

Audio market is not as hot as the market of graphics processors, I should say. The vast majority of end-users are satisfied with their integrated audio solutions available on most of the mainboards and personal computers. However, there are enthusiasts, who prefer add-in products, such as Creative Labs’ Audigy or Live! audio cards. Certainly, NVIDIA will not be able to grab a share in lower-end or mainstream market, where integrated solutions, including NVIDIA’s own products, provide enough options, though, performance mainstream and high-end markets will certainly pay attention to the SoundStorm audio processors from the most-successful graphics chips designer.

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