NVIDIA's SoundStorm plans revealed, sort of
Xbit Labs has managed to track down NVIDIA's plans for its "SoundStorm" audio technology. SoundStorm is what makes the nForce2's integrated audio so attractive, and many enthusiasts were left scratching their heads when NVIDIA didn't integrate its swanky audio technology into the latest nForce3 chipset. As this page of NVIDIA's web site reveals, NVIDIA hasn't scrapped SoundStorm:
What happened to NVIDIA SoundStorm?
For motherboard partner product design and cost flexibility, we have elected to make NVIDIA SoundStorm technology available as an “add-on” chip at a later date. For now, you can find NVIDIA SoundStorm in several NVIDIA nForce2-based motherboards currently shipping.
A SoundStorm add-on chip could presumably be integrated onto both motherboards and discrete audio cards, giving NVIDIA a wide range of audio products to hawk. Thus far, there's nothing to confirm that the new add-on chip will extend SoundStorm's feature set beyond what's currently available in the nForce2 APU, but it's probable that NVIDIA is cooking up something spicy for the new chip. With Creative and VIA both offering true 24-bit audio chips for discrete sound cards, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 24-bit SoundStorm product.