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McObject’s eXtremeDB Helps Double Efficiency And Reduce Manufacturing Cost in New Set-top Boxes

November 29, 2004 — ANT Limited, a leading provider of user interface software for TV and consumer electronics, credits McObject’s eXtremeDB in-memory embedded database with enabling striking efficiency gains—including a doubling of information available at a given memory level—in new browser-based Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) embedded software for set-top boxes and digital TV.

ANT’s Fresco browser in combination with IP-TV middleware provides a responsive and customizable user interface, digital content control and the capability for a range of interactive services for set-top boxes and digital TV. In response to customer requests to support larger EPGs, the company delivered a new ANT Fresco in-memory data management plug-in based on McObject’s eXtremeDB, along with compressed data transmission capability.

With these enhancements, ANT was able to deliver twice the multi-channel program information to the browser without any increase in set-top box memory, ANT Limited CTO David Fell said. As a result, users view their program information more quickly and manufacturers incur lower per-unit costs for memory and CPU resources, keeping their products more competitive.

In earlier versions, the ANT software’s EPG data was held in JavaScript (for example, as arrays of strings and numbers). eXtremeDB’s all-in-memory data management architecture, optimized for compact data layout with support for varied data types and efficient index structures, are responsible for the dramatic efficiency gains, Fell said.

“We were very impressed with the benefits that McObject has brought to the table,” Fell said.

ANT has already licensed the eXtremeDB-enhanced EPG software in a deal detailed in ANT’s press release. The company expects to roll out the new set-top box software to many additional customers, ANT Vice President of Sales and Marketing Stephen Reeder said.

“Set-top boxes typify a vast range of emerging, networked consumer electronics devices that must provide a local, frequently updated media catalog for users to browse and organize their choices, in a highly resource-constrained environment, with virtually zero performance latency,” said Andrei Gorine, McObject principal architect.

“These requirements virtually cry out for a proven in-memory embedded database—and we are pleased that McObject’s eXtremeDB has met ANT Limited’s needs so well,” Gorine said.

About McObject’s eXtremeDB in Electronic Programming Guides

The electronic programming guide (EPG) enables digital television users to search, filter and customize program listings and even control access to content. These capabilities entail significant data management.

Within an EPG, eXtremeDB facilitates optimal database designs, supports reliability and data integrity, and makes possible efficient data retrieval and storage. eXtremeDB’s small footprint – approximately 100K RAM – enables its use in resource-constrained embedded systems, and the database’s streamlined design and in-memory deployment deliver the zero-latency performance required for consumer electronics.

(eXtremeDB’s role in EPG designs was previously highlighted in an Electronic Engineering Times article and in a white paper available from McObject’s Web site.)

About ANT Limited

ANT Limited is a leading provider of embedded application software and support for the broadband TV, hospitality and consumer electronics markets. ANT’s unique combination of proven browser, digital-media management and user interface software enables device manufacturers and TV operators to present digital content and services to end users via branded interfaces.

The company’s products can be integrated quickly and cost-effectively into any platform and operating system, across a wide range of devices such as set-top boxes, TVs, DVD players and multimedia handhelds. ANT software has been extensively deployed by customers throughout the world such as Thompson multimedia, Pace Micro Technology, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung, Amino and Sagem.

About McObject

Founded by embedded database and real-time systems experts, McObject offers proven data management technology that makes intelligent devices smarter, more reliable and more cost-effective to develop and maintain. McObject counts among its customers industry leaders such as DaimlerChrysler, Tyco Thermal Controls, Genesis Microchip, Motorola and Boeing. McObject, based in Issaquah, WA, is committed to providing innovative technology and first rate services to customers and partners. The company can be reached at +1-425-888-8505, or visit www.mcobject.com.

McObject and eXtremeDB are trademarks of McObject LLC. ANT and Fresco are trademarks or registered trademarks of ANT Limited. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.