VM Labs

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VM Labs was a semiconductor and platform company, founded in 1995 in Los Altos, California. The company's technology and NUON brand was used in DVD players from Toshiba, Samsung and RCA, as well as the Streamaster IP set-top box from Motorola.

The NUON platform was best known for the 3D videogame titles it brought to DVD players and set-top boxes. NUON was also supported by various Hollywood studios with enhanced DVD titles such as Bedazzled and Planet of the Apes. Notable embedded features included Jeff Minter's Virtual Light Machine (VLM) for music, real-time zoom, gamma-correction and smooth reverse shuttle.

The founder of VM Labs, Richard Miller, was a former vice president of Atari Corporation, and several prominent VM Labs employees (including Jeff Minter and John Mathieson) were also associated with Atari Corporation.

After critical funding collapsed shortly after September 11, 2001 VM Labs was sold to Genesis Microchip after a brief period in Chapter 11. Genesis Microchip planned to integrate the Nuon and Faroudja technologies for the DVD market, and ultimately used the Nuon technology in HDTV chipsets.


1995 - Company founded in Los Altos, CA. Seed financing and non-exclusive license agreement with Motorola for media processor design

1996 - First Nuon Media Processor design delivered to Motorola for layout

1997 - Prototype silicon received. Second silicon (Quad-core "Oz") delivered to customers

1999 - Production shipments of quad-core "Aries-1" silicon, operating system and firmware to Motorola, Samsung, RCA and others

2000 - "Aries-2" begins production

2001 - "Aries-3" silicon (first fully designed at VM Labs) begins production. This design was faster, lower cost, lower power and more highly integrated than the Motorola versions, and fabricated at TSMC

Feb 2002 - Genesis Microchip acquires VM Lab's assets and hires 50 remaining employees