Karlsruhe (Germany) 2nd October 2007 - The Steering Committee of MOST Cooperation, the cooperative established to promote the infotainment network standard known as Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST(r)), and whose membership consists of Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Harman/Becker and SMSC (Nasdaq: SMSC), has announced today that it welcomes and embraces the decision by Harman/Becker Automotive Systems and SMSC to open the details of their proprietary Data Link Layer for new and current generations of the MOST multimedia network.
In a press release on October 1st, SMSC and Harman/Becker announced their intention to make their detailed Data Link Layer technology for existing and future generations of MOST available via a royalty bearing license in a step-wise process linked to market growth. They also announced that a detailed Data Link Layer specification for the first generation, MOST25, has already been made available and can be requested on SMSC's website by members of the MOST Cooperation. A license agreement to the related patents of both companies can be requested via the same webpage. For the full press release, please see http://www.smsc.com/whatsnew/prcorp/linklayerpr.html .
The car maker members of the Steering Committee, Audi, BMW and DaimlerChrysler, endorse the opening of the MOST Data Link Layer. This opening step gives all members of the MOST Cooperation the opportunity to design interoperable MOST chips and will push a further adoption of MOST. On the other hand, they honor innovation. This is why they also endorse Harman/Becker and SMSC's plan to license their proprietary data link layer on commercially reasonable terms. This model is similar to what CAN has done for many years and is still doing.
"We believe that MOST is an exceptionally useful technology to Audi and should be propagated widely throughout the auto industry," said Dr. Willibert Schleuter, head of electronics at Audi. "We are in favour of any steps that will make complementary technologies more widely available as we see this as essential in helping to spread the adoption of MOST. Therefore Audi welcomes Harman/Becker's and SMSC's decision to license their Data Link Layer intellectual property to other semiconductor manufacturers. Due to this opening step the semiconductor industry has the chance to design optimized products enabling more competition."
"Standards bodies have taken different approaches in determining how to develop a standard that suits a particular industry," said Dr. Christoph Grote, head of BMW's Infotainment division. "From the beginning, the philosophy of the MOST Cooperation has been to base its standard on particular elements of existing technology to rapidly create a reliable and stable infotainment networking standard. Like other standardization groups, the eventual goal of the MOST Cooperation is for all its members to be enabled to make MOST compatible parts and systems."
"We recognize, however, that in order for the MOST Technology to develop, SMSC and Harman/Becker need to receive a fair return for the intellectual property investment that they have developed outside of the MOST Cooperation as an incentive for innovation. BMW endorses the licensing model proposed by SMSC and Harman/Becker because it will encourage a necessary competition and will allow the market for MOST compatible parts to develop while respecting the effort and intellectual property of those companies that have developed it."
"SMSC's and Harman's program to license their Data Link Layer on a commercially reasonable basis should help spread the MOST technology and allow for additional innovation and competition," said Peter Haeussermann, head of the Mercedes-Benz telematics division at DaimlerChrysler. "In order to spread new generations of MOST technology, it is essential that we increase the number of companies that can manufacture MOST compatible parts. Harman/Becker and SMSC have now defined clear conditions for opening their proprietary technologies related to MOST now and for new generations of MOST products, which we expect will lead to greater diversity of supply."
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About MOST Cooperation