xHE-AAC Licensing Program Announced

Third parties will be able to license the xHE-AAC technology for a fee
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Via Licensing Corp. has announced that it is developing a patent pool for the Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC).

A recent update to the Advanced Audio Coding range of technologies from standardized by ISO MPEG, xHE-AAC combines a speech coder with a general audio coder for a single audio coding system that can achieve low bitrates with either speech, music or ambient sounds. Digital Radio Mondiale uses xHE-AAC as its audio coding format.

xHE-AAC patent owners — which include Dolby Laboratories, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Fraunhofer IIS, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Orange S.A., Sony, and VoiceAge Corporation — have worked with Via Licensing to establish this patent pool. As a result, third parties will be able to license the xHE-AAC technology for a fee.

AAC pool licensees will be able to add a license grant for xHE-AAC to an existing AAC license agreement. The license fees are inclusive of underlying AAC patents.

Via Licensing plans to launch the patent pool during the second quarter of 2016.


Fraunhofer Shows HD-AAC at CES

The codec, HD-AAC, offers music encoding "with quality beyond CDs and at the same time, iPod compatibility." The company said the codec is based on the MPEG-4 SLS standard and provides lossless compression of 24-bit quality music content.