Creative plans greater third-party collaboration

The folks at VR-Zone have sat down with Creative and learned a few tidbits about the company's plans for the near future. The site says Creative intends to shift from its current business model of offering everything pre-packaged to selling both its own sound cards and selling audio chips to third parties—a move evidenced by Auzentech's announcement in April that it would introduce an X-Fi-based sound card. Creative will provide reference design kits to its partners in order to allow them to make "even better sound cards." VR-Zone says. The firm also has its eyes set on the audiophile market, although it's not clear what products—or partnerships—Creative has planned there.

Still on the X-Fi front, it's no secret that Creative has a PCI Express X-Fi sound card in the works. About that, VR-Zone was told that an existing PCIe prototype uses a PCI to PCIe bridge chip, but that this setup reportedly introduces unwanted latency. To avoid latency issues, Creative plans to release a native PCIe version of the X-Fi chip by the end of this year.

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