Chipmaker Focus Enhancement plans to announce Thursday that it has signed a contract to provide TV encoding chips for Microsoft's Xbox video game console. Campbell, Calif.-based Focus will join Conexant Systems as one of two suppliers of the chips, which convert PC code into signals suitable for display on a TV set.
Mike Kelly, vice president of marketing for Focus, said the company worked with Microsoft to design a lower-cost version of a critical but low-profile Xbox component. "When you go from a PC video format to a TV video format, it's a very complicated activity...but not something that's going to get a lot of attention," he said. Microsoft has made several moves this year to trim production costs for the heavily subsidized Xbox, includingproduction to China for units sold outside North America.