Creative announces X-Fi audio processor


— 12:43 PM on May 12, 2005

Creative has announced a new X-FI "Xtreme Fidelity" audio processor that it claims is 24 times more powerful than its predecessor.

Xtreme Fidelity sets a new standard for audio by supporting a combination of 24-bit quality, stunning audio clarity with a minimum of 110db SNR and the new CMSS® (Creative Multi Speaker Surround) 3D headphone and surround speaker technology. Consumers will be able to upgrade their existing CD and MP3 music to the Xtreme Fidelity standard, using applications that can run on the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor. Being able to upgrade an existing library of music to Xtreme Fidelity differentiates it from other high-end music standards such as DVD-A and SACD, which offer limited selection and require consumers to repurchase their music in that specific format. When consumers upgrade their CD or MP3 music to the new Xtreme Fidelity standard, they will be able to experience playback that sounds better than its original CD recording.
The ability to make CD or MP3 music sound better than the original recording is certainly a bold claim, but better is relative. Creative touts the X-FI's ability to spread music over multiple output channels, which could easily be construed as superior to two-channel stereo audio.

With 51 million transistors and a claimed capability of over 10,000 MIPS, the X-FI has plenty of horsepower under the hood. The chip has multiple engines and a flexible architecture that can redirect computational resources on an application-by-application basis. X-FI will also come with a new version of EAX. Creative will be previewing the X-Fi at E3 next week.

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