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Gibson Guitar has joined with three companies in the technology industry -- 3Com, AMD and Xilinx -- to revolutionize the way audio and video information is accessed using Gibson's MaGIC digital transport protocol.

Gibson celebrated at the AES show in Los Angeles by announcing the first digital electric guitar, which will use technology from 3Com and Xilinx and will eventually interface with a digital audio workstation that incorporates expertise from AMD and 3Com.

MaGIC, developed by Gibson Labs, the guitar company's technology division, provides a connectivity standard that will bring about a "convergence" of the computer, telecommunications and consumer electronics industries.

"It's 'Convergence Meets the Last Mile,'" explained Gibson chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. "Computers, telecommunications and consumer electronics have developed their own separate, high-bandwidth highways, but for the average consumer, there's no entrance ramp to these highways. With the expertise and support of 3Com, AMD and Xilinx, we will use MaGIC to replace a variety of different ways of accessing audio and video information with one connector and a system which instantly configures itself to what ever form the audio or video information takes. Like the guitar, you plug it in, and it works.

"MaGIC will revolutionize the way media information is transmitted in content creation, post production and editing, and in the consumer home," Juszkiewicz added. "The world needs MaGIC. It's the right technology at the right time."

Gibson's MaGIC -- short for Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier -- makes standard Cat-5 Ethernet cable act like a super cable, capable of carrying up to 32 channels of 32-bit, 48 kHz uncompressed digital sound in both directions (64 channels total), with a control stream 100 times as powerful as MIDI over a single wire. It eliminates latency and jitter, allowing professional real-time sync of hundreds of instruments and devices (250 us point-to-point latency over 100 meters).

MaGIC grew out of Gibson Labs' ten years of research and development of a digital electric guitar, but its applications are virtually unlimited. Gibson has made MaGIC non-proprietary to promote unrestricted development of new applications.

Gibson Labs, the company's technology division, has offices in Redondo Beach and Sunnyvale, CA, and has developed sound reinforcement products as well as the MaGIC digital transport protocol.

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