Nuon (DVD technology)

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NUON logo.png
The DVD-N2000 Nuon player made by Samsung with pack-in controller.
DeveloperVM Labs
ManufacturerMotorola, RCA, Samsung, Toshiba
TypeHome video game console
GenerationSixth generation
Release dateEarly 2000

Nuon is a technology developed by VM Labs that adds features to a DVD player. In addition to viewing DVDs, one can play 3D video games and use enhanced DVD navigational tools such as zoom and smooth scanning of DVD playback. One could also play CDs while the Nuon graphics processor generates synchronized graphics on the screen. There were plans to provide Internet access capability in the next generation of Nuon-equipped DVD players.


A Nuon DVD player made by Samsung

Nuon originally started off as "Project X," and was featured in Electronic Gaming Monthly's 1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide. One of the Nuon's main software developers was Jeff Minter, who created a version of Tempest titled Tempest 3000 for the system and the built-in VLM-2 audio visualizer. However, the Nuon platform was primarily marketed as an expanded DVD format. A large majority of Nuon players that were sold in fact resembled typical consumer DVD players with the only noticeable difference being a Nuon logo. Nuon players offered a number of features that were not available on other DVD players when playing standard DVD-formatted titles. These included very smooth forward and reverse functionality and the ability to smoothly zoom in and out of sections of the video image. In addition, Nuon provided a software platform to DVD authors to provide interactive software like features to their titles.

In North America, Nuon was used in the Samsung DVD-N501 and DVD-N2000 models; they also released several models in other parts of the world: DVD-N504 (Europe), DVD N505 (Europe), and DVD-N591 (Korea). Toshiba released the SD-2300 DVD player, and there are two RCA models, the DRC300N and DRC480N. The Nuon was also used in Motorola's Streamaster 5000 "Digital DNA" set-top box. However, the format has appeared to have died off.[citation needed] Nuon was created by VM Labs, whose assets were sold to Genesis Microchip in April 2002.[1] As of November 2004, there were no Nuon-enabled DVD players shipping and no new Nuon software titles, meaning that it was discontinued.


The Inside of the Samsung N2000 player, showing the Nuon XCMMP-L3BZPDVD processor.
  • 32/128 bit 54 MHz or 108 MHz quad-core VM labs Nuon MPE hybrid stack processor (Media Processing Element, supporting 128-bit SIMD floating point and 32-bit integer but both share the same IEEE 754 floating point register stack to store both flop and integer instructions similar to the Intel MMX technology through contact switch. Each contains a 128-bytes unified cache, with 32-kilobyte shared cache (32-bit SRAM block) and maximum 2 GB physical memory addresses. Some report(s) suggested that a certain model had sported a 333+ MHz clock frequency but it was never released widely.
  • MCS-251 microcontroller for background task
  • 32-megabyte 8-bit Fast DRAM at 33 MHz, 512-kilobytes sound RAM and 24-kilobytes programmable ROM
  • 2x 3d Media GL MPE with 8-megabyte video ram
  • 64~256 MB writable rom and optional hard drive (up to 137 GB)
  • Optical drive support DVD or CD-R

Peripherals and accessories[edit]

Peripherals for Nuon-enhanced DVD players included the following:

The Logitech gamepad
  • Logitech Gamepad
  • Pro-elite controller
  • AirPlay wireless controller
  • Stealth controller
  • Warrior Digital-D pad
  • controller extension cable
  • port replicator to move the Nuon ports to anywhere desired

Released movies[edit]

Only four DVD releases utilized Nuon technology. All of them were released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:

Released games[edit]

Only eight games were officially released for the Nuon:

Collections and samplers[edit]

  • Interactive Sampler (three different versions)
  • Nuon Games + Demos (collection from Nuon-Dome)
  • Nuon-Dome PhillyClassic 5 Demo Disc (giveaway collection)

Homebrew development[edit]

During late 2001, VM Labs released a homebrew SDK which allowed people to be able to program apps/games for their Nuon system. Only the Samsung DVD-N501/​DVDN504/​DVDN505 and RCA DRC300N/​DRC480N can load homebrew games.

Some homebrew titles have been created for or ported to Nuon. They are not commercially available and require the user to burn the material to a Nuon-compatible CD-R.


  • Moss, Richard (28 June 2015). "Remembering Nuon, the gaming chip that nearly changed the world—but didn't". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  • Moss, Richard (2 June 2014). "Life after death: meet the people ensuring that yesterday's systems will never be forgotten". Edge Online. Future plc. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016.

External links[edit]