Thursday, February 19, 2009

WEGENER(R) Receives U.S. Patent for 'Rotational Use of Memory to Minimize Erase and Rewrite Cycles on Flash Memory Devices'

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wegener Corporation (NASDAQ:WGNR) , a leading provider of equipment for television, audio, and data distribution networks worldwide, today announced that WEGENER has been granted a U.S. patent for an innovative method that enables "Rotational Use of Memory to Minimize Erase and Rewrite Cycles on Flash Memory Devices."

This U.S. patent, awarded on January 20, 2009 as Patent No. 7,480,760, has already been implemented in several WEGENER(R) products, including the DTV 720 and DTV 742 Digital TV Processors. Video headends use these DTV products to receive and repackage off-air 8VSB, local HD, and ASI signals into IP Multicasts, and the Flash memory retains the channel assignments and programming identification data that operators enter.

To gain efficiencies in size and cost, these products have a scaled down 'small footprint' operating system embedded in them, rather than a full version. With this architecture, such small operating systems tend to prematurely 'wear out' non-volatile memory components (such as Flash) by reading and writing to the same location repetitively whenever a critical parameter is changed. WEGENER's invention overcomes this drawback by performing 'load leveling' of the Flash memory. Load leveling minimizes the number of times data is erased or rewritten within a certain block of Flash memory by automatically redistributing this activity across the entire Flash memory.

"Since Flash memory has a limited number of times it can be erased or rewritten, our patented process for load leveling, greatly extends the product's useful life," said Ned L. Mountain, president and chief operating officer of WEGENER. "Without this method, products might reach end-of-life prematurely due to excessive erase/write activity on Flash memory. By making more efficient use of Flash memory, our process benefits customers with a lower product cost by using less overall memory while extending the product's useful life."

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