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Micronas and Thomson multimedia Showcase a New Copy Protection System That Will Drive the Future of Digital Television



LAS VEGAS, January 8, 2002 -Today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Micronas (SWX: MASN, Neuer Markt Frankfurt: MNSN) and Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear 18453; NYSE: TMS) will hold the world's first public demonstration of the SmartRight copy protection and content management system, designed to protect video content on digital home networks.

The demonstration, held at the Micronas booth (16024) in the Las Vegas Convention Center's south hall, will show the solution's ability to provide an effective end-to-end solution for the protection of digital video content, deployable in any parts of the world. The new copy protection system meets commercial requirements for content protection in devices for digital home entertainment networks such as TV sets, Set-Top-Boxes, DVD players, digital video recorders, and PCs.

The aim of SmartRight is to offer a complete solution to answer the need for copy protection and content management on digital home networks. Current solutions use device-to-device or link encryption, which mean they need re-encryption at device borders. SmartRight, on the other hand, provides end-to-end copy protection. Content entering a SmartRight personal private network stays encrypted until it is rendered. SmartRight can coexist and work with all other current copy protection systems.

Additionally, SmartRight is based on the use of removable security modules, such as smart cards, which provide a truly and cost-effective renewable solution in case of hacking.

"SmartRight offers content owners a more flexible system to safeguard ownership. It also facilitates, together with Conditional Access or Digital Rights Management systems, the creation of new business models enabling consumers to enjoy content while respecting copyrights" said Reinhard Steffens, Head of System Architecture at Micronas. "It has already generated a great amount of interest among the digital chain community and today's demonstration will attract large number of supporters and attendees."

The SmartRight system will be implemented on Micronas' MDE 9500, a mixed-signal digital TV decoder chip. In combination with the existing Micronas product portfolio, MDE is a perfect solution for implementing SmartRight technology in presentation devices. It provides the world's first cost-effective and secure solution for digital video broadcasting for integrated digital television (IDTV), which is replacing analog TV with separate digital set-top boxes. According to leading analyst firm Cahners In-Stat, the global market for digital TV receivers will amount to over US$4 billion by 2004.

"Micronas brings its world-renown knowledge in consumer electronics to SmartRight and the digital TV field," said Olivier Lafaye, General Manager Advanced Projects at Thomson multimedia. "Together with our development partners we provide the world a better, safer and more flexible solution for copy protection."


About SmartRight

SmartRight is a copy protection system for digital home networks, which, combined with conditional access systems (CAS) or digital rights management (DRM) systems, provides an effective end-to-end solution for the protection of digital content. SmartRight is a global system deployable in any region of the world. It makes no prior assumption on the content's format it receives. It accepts content from any kind of source, including free-to-air content. It defines a common syntax for SmartRight content to ensure interoperability and defines a simple application program interface (API) with current dominant CAS and DRM systems. It is network security neutral and may either co-operate with these systems or be fully transparent to them.

SmartRight was first designed and developed by Thomson multimedia, with the help of technology partners wishing to jointly develop and promote this digital copy protection system. Thomson, along with Canal+Technologies, Gemplus, Micronas, Nagravision, Pioneer, Schlumberger, and STMicroelectronics, answered the DVB-CP call for proposals for Content Protection and Copy Management Technologies with the SmartRight system.


About the MDE 9500 chip

The MDE 9500 mixed-signal decoder family combines all of the signal process tasks of digital receivers while also supporting analog video processing. The high-performance graphic system supports all DVB recommendations, embedded TV applications and upcoming services like interactive TV. Furthermore, the chip features interfaces to address external devices such as IEEE 1394 link layer and ATA/IDE hard-disk drives. The interfaces and the system partitioning are adjustable to different TV systems enabling the manufacturers to build complete system solutions.

The MDE 9500 also meets the requirements of the multimedia home platform (MHP) standard. MHP will enable a fully horizontal digital TV market by defining an open and standardized programming interface for interactive TV applications.


About Micronas

Micronas (SWX: MASN, Neuer Markt Frankfurt: MNSN), a semiconductor company group with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for consumer electronics, multimedia and automotive electronics. The holding is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland). Currently, the Micronas group employs over 1500 people. In 2000, it generated over CHF 490 Million in sales. For more information on Micronas and its products, please visit www.micronas.com.


About Thomson multimedia

With sales of 9.1 billion Euros (U.S. $8.3 billion) in 2000 and 73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia (Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) provides a wide range of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities; Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products, Patents and Licensing and New Media Services. The company distributes its products under the THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.


* * *

Certain statements in this press release, including any discussion of management expectations for future periods, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic, business, competitive market and regulatory factors. More detail information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson multimedia is contained in the Thomson multimedia's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Micronas media contact

Iris Bahr
Phone: +49 761 517 2324

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