Fraunhofer IIS-A setting the pace in transactional watermarking, unveils optimized MP3 bitstream

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, Applied Electronics IIS,the world leader in audio compression technology and Home of MP3 unveilsadvanced signal
processing technology: Advanced Watermarking technologyhelps content providers to keep track of their content and protect theirintellectual property.

Fraunhofer Bitstream Watermarking technologybundles Fraunhofer´s robust watermarking scheme with their famous suiteof high-performance audio coders by allowing direct embedding of watermarkdata (such as digital signatures) into coded music content. In this way,material can easily be personalized to any particular customer and tracedback in case of illegal proliferation. This is an important step for themusic industries and the secure digital distribution of audio files.Direct embedding of digital watermarks into coded bitstreams reduces timeand cost efforts for the companies while preserving optimum signal quality.

While Fraunhofer IIS-A had already presented the world´s firstbitstream watermarking scheme for MPEG audio coders at the AES trade showin Paris, February of 2000 (based on the MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Codingscheme), more brand new technology will be released at the upcoming AESconvention in Los Angeles, September 22-25 2000: MP3 support in the newbitstream watermarking technology now allows seamless and efficient dataembedding for the de-facto audio coding
standard on the Internet.”The new bitstream watermarking systems were designed with two goalsin mind: Achieving the best possible performance of the combined codec/watermarksystem and maintaining the renowned Fraunhofer audio quality” saidChristian Neubauer, in lead of the development effort. “Much efforthas been put into rigorous listening tests and optimization of thepsychoacoustic models, taking advantage of Fraunhofer´s long-standingcodec expertise.”

The Fraunhofer Institute for IntegratedCircuits, Applied Electronics IIS-A, develops microelectronic circuits,devices, and systems up to complete industrial solutions.
Fields ofapplications are information and communications technology, imaging sensortechnology, image processing, X-ray and medical technology.

Theinstitute is also the leading research laboratory in the area of audiocoding. Since the start of its audio coding work more than 10 years ago,Fraunhofer IIS-A has
participated actively in the development of audiocompression algorithms. Major parts of MPEG-1 Layer-3 (MP3), the mostpopular audio format on the Internet, have
been devised at itsheadquarters in Erlangen, Germany. The MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)algorithm, which is the most efficient coding algorithm currentlyavailable, was also developed in cooperation with experts from FraunhoferIIS-A. AAC offers a 16 fold data reduction while maintaining CD quality.

Inaddition to audio coding technology, Fraunhofer IIS-A is also working ondata-hiding technologies for use in watermarking and fingerprintingsystems. Fraunhofer
IIS-A is active in international efforts to developmethods to technically manage and protect intellectual property, includingthe MPEG-4 work on Intellectual Property
Management & Protection (IPMP),the Audio Engineering Society´s (AES) activities on Internet AudioDelivery Systems and the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)
beinginitiated by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), theRecording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) and the InternationalFederation of the
Phonographic Industries (IFPI).

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Elvira Gerhäuser

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