SoundStorm2 makes a possible appearance on Sony's PlayStation 3

All long time, several companies individually challenged Creative Labs for the top spot in computer audio. A notable few came close to making quite an impact but unfortunately things are now once again dominated by Creative. NVIDIA's original SoundStorm released with the nForce2 chipset a few years ago was herald as a savior for PC audio. Delivering what it called Dolby Digital Live, NVIDIA's SoundStorm was able to encode a Dolby Digital 5.1 stream in real time from any source, and output it to your favorite multi-channel audio equipment.

Several users have wrote in to inform us that reports are indicating Sony may have revealed the source of the PlayStation 3's audio processing capabilities. According to slides that Sony showed off at the Game Developer's Conference that just past, NVIDIA's RSX processor designed to accelerate graphics for the PS3 is also providing hardware accelerated audio.

According to an article on The Tech Report, NVIDIA indicated to it that its next evolution after SoundStorm would be delivered in an untraditional manner. Many customers and analysts alike have been waiting for NVIDIA to produce a discrete audio chip for soundcard makers but so far this has not taken place. Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO indicated that his company was looking at ways to evolve the graphics processing unit (GPU) to provide non-traditional  features -- he did not allude to the possibility of sound processing however.

Today, there are several sound products that offer Dolby Digital Live. Recent codecs from RealTek and C-Media all offer the option of  Dolby Digital 5.1 support. Unfortunately, these products rely on the host processor and so use a lot more system resources than dedicated audio processors such as Creative Labs' Audigy 2, or X-Fi.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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