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Chipset combines audio, modem

Rockwell announces a new chipset that includes modem technology as well as sound features.

Rockwell Semiconductor Systems announced a PCI-based chipset that combines modem technology and audio features.

Dubbed RipTide, the chipset will assume duties normally divided between two separate chips, a consolidation that Rockwell claims saves on cost and power consumption and increases performance.

Rockwell's chipset comes as demand for multimedia chips accelerates along with competition among chipmakers. A recent study by Dataquest predicted a 31 percent increase in audio chip shipments this year.

RipTide supports V.34 (28.8- and 33.6-kbps) and K56flex (56-kbps) modem technologies and Intel's Audio Codec '97 2.0 PC audio specification. Features include dedicated handset and microphone support, 3D sound, and two-line modem capability.

Sample quantities will be available in December, with volume production scheduled for the second quarter of 1998. Cost per item based on purchase of 10,000 units is $36, or $49 with a digital signal processor for accelerated performance.