Although the PCI bus is generally considered a superior connection compared with the ISA bus, it allows only one component to reside on a card. A new architecture, however, will remove this drawback just as many ISA functions migrate to PCI.
Startup Platform Technologies Inc. today announced its first product, the Agogo-XP audio accelerator chip, which also integrates a multimedia PCI bridge that allows an additional three bus masters and six slave devices to reside on the same board with the Agogo chip. Among the PCI controllers that can connect with the Agogo chip are digital video disk, videoconferencing, three-dimensional graphics, Universal Serial Bus, FireWire USB, ISDN and V.34 modems, officials at the Milpitas, Calif., company said.
The SoundBlaster-compatible audio portion of the chip conforms to Intel Corp.'s AC97 specification for audio. It also supports Microsoft Corp.'s DirectSound and 3-D audio, officials said.
While a few other companies have multimedia PCI bridges, Agogo XP is the first to ship with audio functionality, which gives IT managers a good excuse to buy a board equipped with it, one analyst said.
"The IS manager is a standard configuration person. A board with this chip alleviates problems with various configurations within an office," said Bert McComas, principal with InQuest Market Research, in Phoenix. "To deploy several functions universally on one board will conserve effort, slots and space."
The Agogo-XP chip will ship to OEMs in volume during the first quarter of next year. OEMs will be able to configure boards with different functions, but end users can expect to pay less than $100 for a board with the Agogo XP chip, officials at Platform said.
Platform Technologies can be reached at www.platformtech.com.