San Francisco, April 18, 2016—Via Licensing Corporation announced today that a patent pool license for Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) is in the final stage of development.
xHE-AAC is the most recent update to the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) family of technologies standardized by ISO MPEG. xHE-AAC combines an optimized speech coder with a high-performance general audio coder resulting in a single audio coding system capable of achieving exceptional results at low bit rates with any type of audio content, whether speech, music, or ambient sounds.
xHE-AAC is ideally suited for radio broadcast, which combines a variety of content from talk radio to voice over music or sound-effects to purely musical program content. For this reason, xHE-AAC has been selected as the audio coding format for Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), a digital radio system designed to work over existing analog radio broadcast infrastructure, including shortwave. Apart from radio broadcast, xHE-AAC is well suited for radio streaming services, especially over congested networks. Due to its coding efficiency and scalability, with stereo bit rates as low as 12 kilobits per second xHE-AAC enables streaming services over 2G networks such as those found in emerging markets, and it can save bandwidth costs for service providers and consumers even on 3G and 4G LTE networks.
A number of xHE-AAC essential patent owners have been working to establish the patent pool with Via Licensing, including Dolby Laboratories, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Fraunhofer IIS, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Orange S.A., Sony Corporation, and VoiceAge Corporation.
Royalties for the xHE-AAC license are expected to be as follows:
Volume (per unit/annual reset) Per-Unit Fee*
For the first 1 to 500,000 units $1.08
For 500,001 to 1,000,000 units $0.88
For 1,000,001 to 2,000,000 units $0.78
For 2,000,001 to 5,000,000 units $0.70
For 5,000,001 to 10,000,000 units $0.67
For 10,000,001 to 20,000,000 units $0.47
For 20,000,001 to 50,000,000 units $0.45
For 50,000,001 to 75,000,000 units $0.40
For 75,000,001 and more units $0.35
* Preliminary; subject to change, pending availability of the license
The xHE-AAC program is designed to make it easy for current and future AAC pool licensees to add a license grant for xHE-AAC to an existing AAC license agreement. Similarly, reporting a mix of both AAC and xHE-AAC products is streamlined for AAC licensees. The license fees presented above are inclusive of the underlying AAC patents. In other words, xHE-AAC licensees will not be paying twice for the patents that are granted under the AAC Patent License Agreement.
"We are very pleased that the xHE-AAC patent pool is nearing launch," said Joseph Siino, President of Via. "Via and its licensors have supported the Digital Radio Mondiale initiative for many years. As the format evolves, just as the AAC codec family itself evolves, it is important for us to aid commercialization of the technology by simplifying access to the essential patent rights for manufacturers and developers worldwide."
The xHE-AAC patent pool is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2016.
About Via Licensing Corporation
Via Licensing Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, Inc., a company with more than 50 years of experience in innovation and technology licensing. Via is dedicated to the development and administration of licensing programs for mandated, de facto, and emerging standards on behalf of innovative technology companies in the audio, broadcast, wireless, and automotive markets. For more information about Via, please visit vialicensing.com.