20 Years Of Audio Coding

US Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS celebrates MP3 with videocasts      11/01/07

20 Years Of Audio Coding
Fraunhofer Institute building, Erlangen

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In 2007, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS is celebrating 20 years of audio coding. Back in 1987 a breakthrough in audio coding activities was achieved at Fraunhofer IIS with the introduction of the first real-time implementation of a predecessor of mp3.
The German research institute is commemorating this milestone with a range of events including the release of videocasts at www.iis.fraunhofer.de which deliver an insight into the development of mp3 and the early days of audio coding.
It all started back in the 70s with the goal of compressing music for transmission over phone lines. Developments in the following years provided the basis for modern audio coding algorithms and, in May 1987, led to a real-time implementation of the Low Complexity Adaptive Transform Codec, in short LC-ATC. That way, music could be compressed in real-time for the first time – a huge advantage as before compression of audio signals took hours even using high performance computers. This implementation of mp3’s forerunner started the rapid development process that eventually resulted in the later standardization of MPEG Layer-3, better known as mp3, in 1992.
Now, the engineers of Fraunhofer IIS tell in videocast episodes about these exciting times and how development of mp3 affected their everyday life. The videocasts are released every two weeks on www.iis.fraunhofer.de as download and streaming videos. Additionally, the mp3 history is offered as mp3 podcast.
Release of the videocasts is only the beginning of a series of events and workshops celebrating 20 years of audio coding at Fraunhofer IIS. The highlight will be the Day of Audio Coding on May 25, 2007.
Today, Fraunhofer IIS is the leading international research lab for audio coding. After the development of mp3 and vital contributions to MPEG AAC, engineers at Fraunhofer IIS are now working on new algorithms for compressing surround audio at very low bit rates, e.g. mp3 Surround and MPEG Surround. The institute is also active in the field of digital rights management, communication technologies, digital broadcasting and video coding. This makes Fraunhofer IIS to the first address for solutions for tomorrow’s multimedia world.
About Fraunhofer
Founded in 1985 the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, today with 480 staff members, ranks first among the Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. With the development of the audio coding method MP3, Fraunhofer IIS has reached worldwide recognition. It provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing. The research topics are: Audio and video source coding, multimedia realtime systems, digital radio broadcasting and digital cinema systems, integrated circuits and sensor systems, design automation, wireless, wired and optical networks, localization and navigation, imaging systems and nanofocus X-ray technology, high-speed cameras, medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport and logistics. The budget of 58 million Euro is mainly financed by projects from industry, the service sector and public authorities. Less than 20 percent of the budget is subsidized by federal and state funds.
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