Creative takes the wraps off Zii

“Zii is a super computer in a nano size.” Now that everything is out there in the open, we’re not entirely sure everything we know has changed, as was the teaser claim on Creative’s Zii landing page. On the other hand, the ZiiLabs ZMS-05 SoC (System on Chip) is indeed pretty big news. According to Creative, the ZMS-05 is 100x smaller, 100x cheaper and 100x greener than a typical super computer, while capable of achieving the same impact on its target market – portable consumer electronics. The tie-in to “Stem cell Computing,” we imagine, is the fact that a virtually unlimited number of chips can be chained together to allow for petaflops of processing power. Mmm. With media in mind, the ZMS-05 will supposedly take portable electronics a tremendous leap forward but as always, seeing is believing. Once we start to see prototypes of devices built around the ZMS-05 that knock our socks off, we’ll reach our own conclusions. As an aside, Creative – you’d think that with all that money spent on manufacturing the surrounding hype and launch of your new SoC, the creative teams behind the project could have managed to make those Zii videos easily embeddable. Maybe your creative agency could use a few ZiiLabs-powered devices… Hit the jump for the full press release.

Creative Launches the Zii Platform and Ushers in the Era of StemCell Computing

Creative Forms ZiiLABS and Ushers in the Era of StemCell Computing Where Nano-Sized Super Computing Will Be Available in Our Daily Lives through Flexible, Tiny, Powerful and Scalable SoC

CES, Las Vegas, NV – Jan. 8, 2009 — Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the formation of ZiiLABS™ (a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative), with the combination of 3DLABS — which has a 25-year history as a leading innovator in programmable graphics, media and applications processing — and resources drawn from the largest product group in Creative, the Personal Digital Entertainment group.

The formation of ZiiLABS, the launch of the new ZiiLABS ZMS-05 SoC (System-On-Chip) and the new Zii™ Platform today usher in the new era of StemCell Computing™. The new ZiiLABS ZMS-05 SoC (System-On-Chip) will be unveiled and demonstrated from January 8-11 at the Consumer Electronics Show, South Hall booth #30651.

“We have invested a billion dollars and 10,000 man years of R&D effort over the last 25 years in platform solutions,” said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Ltd. “The combination of the technology from 3DLABS and the product development prowess of our Personal Digital Entertainment group delivers a complete, powerful and energy efficient platform with a very rapid time-to-market for our partners – the Zii Platform.”

“We now look to shaping the future of computing with the introduction of the integrated ZMS-05 media-rich processor, and ushering in the new era of StemCell Computing where we will bring the incredible benefits of nano-sized super computing right into our daily lives,” said Hock Leow, president of ZiiLABS.”

This StemCell approach has benefits in terms of:
· Flexibility — Utilizing a breakthrough technology comprising of programmable Processing Elements (PEs) which are basically Software Defined Silicon
· Scalability — 10Gigaflops to Petaflops (1015 floating point operation per second)
· Energy Efficiency — Huge processing power of the ZMS-05 SoC enables it to perform more in less time, equating to low power consumption
· Complete Solution — Ready-for-Market Zii Platform Solutions

Unlimited Flexibility
Stem cells are the basic building blocks of life, possessing the unique ability to develop into the specialized cells and tissues required by organisms to function effectively. Inspired by this concept, the ZMS architecture uses an array of media-optimized Processing Elements (PE) as its stem cells that can instantly develop into any of the specialized acceleration functions required of today’s media rich devices and offering advantages in terms of flexibility, performance and features when compared to the fixed function silicon blocks traditionally used in SoC designs.

Incredible Scalability
The scalability of the ZMS architecture is highlighted in the first Teraflop Accelerator with the footprint of an A4-sized sheet of paper, consuming less power than a desktop PC. By utilizing the virtually unlimited chaining capability of the ZMS chips, a state-of-the- art ‘hypercomputer’ with many Petaflops of processing power can be realized, which can be 100 times smaller, 100 times greener and 100 times lower cost than conventional super computers.

High Energy Efficiency
Due to the compute density of each Processing Element, the ZMS-05 SoC is able to do an immense amount of media processing in far less time — and with far less energy — than taken by standard processors; which translates into longer battery life. Intelligent power control means the speed and power consumption of the processor can be matched to the task in hand and unused features can be turned off completely, put in deep stand-by and reactivated instantly after weeks of shut down, helping to lengthen battery life even further.

Complete Zii Platform Solutions
The ZMS-05 processor combines the media processing array, dual ARM cores and a rich set of integrated peripheral controllers with hardware platforms and advanced SDK and middleware. This will enable Software Developers, OEMs, ODMs and System Integrators to create unlimited possibilities and develop a broad range of highly innovative products.

ZiiLABS Launch Partners
With the excitement about the ZiiLABS platform now public and the ZMS-05 in production, the Company is pleased to be working with many OEM partners worldwide announcing products based on ZMS including: MicroStar International, Perception digital, F&S Electronic, MediaNet, ASTAK, PowerLinux and Grandeye.

For more information, please visit Zii.com

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