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BTG Licensing Key Speech Coding Patent From VoiceCraft, Inc.

GULPH MILLS, Pa., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- BTG, a leading technology transfer company, announced today it has acquired a key patent on speech coding technology from VoiceCraft, Inc. (Goleta, CA). BTG is actively licensing this technology to manufacturers of digital handsets, Internet telephony products, videoconferencing systems and others using or intending to use speech compression techniques covered by the patent. The patent, entitled "Vector Excitation Speech or Audio Coder for Transmission or Storage," covers the coding of speech using a technique which dramatically increases speech quality yet is less complex than previous techniques by a substantial margin.

The inventors of this technology, Dr. Grant Davidson and Dr. Allen Gersho, have been widely acknowledged for their ground-breaking work in digital speech and audio compression.

BTG believes that the patent (US Patent No. 4,868,867 and Canadian Patent No. 1,338,387) is of significant value to those companies producing products that comply with several US national and international speech compression standards involving the Code Excited Linear Prediction (CELP) family of coding. Such standards, which encompass the state of the art in speech coding, currently include ITU G.723.1, G.729, G.729A, EIA/TIA IS-641, IS-127, IS-96, and PCS-1900. The International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium (IMTC) has approved ITU G.723.1 as its low bit rate baseline coder for Internet telephony applications based on the H.323 conferencing standard. Additionally, the Frame Relay Forum has adopted G.729 and G.729A as the low bit rate coder for voice over Frame Relay.

This patented technique, which applies weighting based on human hearing perception, to both the input signal and the codevectors, has been incorporated into CELP coders including the popular ACELP algorithm. This technique is denoted Input and Codevector Perceptual Weighting (ICPW).

Allen Gersho, President of VoiceCraft, stated, "BTG clearly has the business, technical, and intellectual property expertise to professionally handle a major licensing campaign, and I am confident that they will run a successful program to transfer this technology to the telecommunications industry."

Anthony V. Lando, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BTG USA Inc., said, "With the tremendous growth in digital wireless communications, Internet telephony, and videoconferencing we see an enormous opportunity in actively licensing this technology."

BTG plc (London: BGC.L) is one of the world's leading technology transfer companies. Operating internationally with offices in the UK, US and Japan, its business is the profitable commercialization of technology. With nearly 50 years' experience in patenting and licensing technology to industry worldwide, BTG has extensive expertise in the protection, development, marketing and management of intellectual property rights (IPR). With over 8,500 patents under executive management, BTG is at the forefront of creating the products and services for tomorrow's world. BTG's Electronics & Telecommunications Division is organized into the following business teams: Communications, Semiconductors, Biomedical, RF Identification, and Integrated Media. Visit E&T's web site at www.btgusa.com.

VoiceCraft, Inc. is a privately held California company established in 1987 that holds patents in voice compression technologies. Its proprietary voice compression algorithm has been incorporated in commercial products for videoconferencing and private voice/data networking.

SOURCE BTG USA Inc.
 -0- 08/15/97


/CONTACT: Anthony V. Lando, Senior Vice President & General Manager, 610-278-1660, or info@btgusa.com, or Colleen M. Farrell, Communications Manager, 610-313-4030, or cmf@btgusa.com, both of BTG USA, fax, 610-278-1605, or Mary Clark, Corporate Spokesperson of BTG plc, 44-171-403-6666, or fax, 44-171-403-7586, or mary.clark@btgplc.com /

CO: BTG USA, Inc.; VoiceCraft, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania, California IN: MTC CPR MLM SU: LIC

MK-LJ -- PHF004 -- 2344 08/15/97 09:05 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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Date:Aug 15, 1997
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