|Traded as||TWSE: 2379|
|Key people||Ye Nanhong (chairman)
Qiu Shunjian (general manager)
|Products||Integrated circuit semiconductor chips|
Realtek Semiconductor Corp. (Chinese: 瑞昱半導體股份有限公司), a fabless semiconductor company situated in the Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan, was founded in October 1987, and subsequently approved as a listed company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in 1998. As of 2013, Realtek employs 2000 people, of which 78% work in research and development.
Realtek manufactures and sells a wide variety of products throughout the world, and its product lines broadly fall into three categories: communications network ICs, computer peripheral ICs and multimedia ICs.
- Communications network IC products manufactured and marketed by Realtek include: network interface controllers (both the traditional 10/100M Ethernet controllers and the more advanced gigabit Ethernet controllers), physical layer controllers (PHYceivers), network switch controllers, gateway controllers, wireless LAN ICs, as well as ADSL router controllers. In particular, the RTL8139 series 10/100M Fast Ethernet controllers reached their height during the late 1990s, and continued to take up a significant, and eventually predominant share in the worldwide market in the following years.
- Those devices categorized as Realtek’s computer peripheral IC products consist of the traditional AC'97 audio codecs, the High Definition Audio codecs, card reader controllers, clock generators and IEEE 1394 ICs.
- Multimedia IC products include LCD Monitor Controllers, LCD TV Controllers and Digital Media Processors.
Notable Realtek products include 10/100M Ethernet controllers (with a global market share of 70% as of 2003) and audio codecs (AC'97 and Intel HD Audio), where Realtek has a 50% market share, primarily concentrated in the integrated OEM on-board audio market-segment. As of 2013[update] the ALC892 HD Audio codec and RTL8111 Gigabit Ethernet chip have become particular OEM favorites, offering low prices and basic feature-sets. RTL8139-based NICs are dubbed "crab cards" in Taiwan, alluding to the crab-like appearance of the Realtek logo.
Chipsets for HD multimedia players and recorders
The increasing popularity of HD media players in 2009 led to the entry of Realtek into that market. The first series, the 1xx3 models sold at a lower price than similar quality chipsets of Realtek's competitors. (The main competitors were the Sigma Media Players.)
Realtek produced three major versions of Realtek 1xx3 and several minor variations. The three major 1xx3 chipset versions (1073, 1183, and 1283) all featured the same chip in terms of format support and performance, the only difference being the added ability to record AV sources in the 1283. HD Audio support in the 1xx3 improved through the chipset's life with several revisions. The DD and CC versions of the chipset both added full 7.1 HD-audio support to the chipset.
The 1073 players all built on a common SDK (firmware+OS) provided by Realtek. This meant that they were all essentially similar in performance and interface. It also meant that producing these players was very easy for manufacturers, all they had to do was create the hardware and Realtek provided the software.
Key players from the Realtek 1073 era were the original Xtreamer, the Asus O!PlayHD, ACRyan PlayOn and the Mede8er MED500X Manufacturers released hundreds of Realtek 1073 players.
In early 2011 Realtek released series 1xx5, including 1055, and 1185. These are the successors to the 1073 series. All three chips run at 500Mhz so providing a small performance increase, otherwise the chips offer the same comprehensive format support as the previous generation. All chips run the same Realtek SDK4 Casablanca, offering an improved user-experience (aesthetically, added media indexing, thumbnails...) from the stock SDK. As with the later version of the 1xx8 chipset full 7.1 HD-audio downmix and passthrough are supported in the 1xx5.
Realtek released the next generation of its chipsets, the 1xx6 series 1186, in early October 2011. This runs at 750Mhz, has HDMI 1.4, is capable of 3D including 3D ISO, and is able to dual-boot into Android. Key 1186 players include the Mede8er X3D Series (MED1000X3D, MED800X3D, MED600X3D), Xtreamer Prodigy 3D and HiMedia 900B.
According to the comprehensive analysis released by Symantec in 2011 regarding the Stuxnet virus, a Realtek's digital certificate for Windows got compromised, allowing attacker to digitally sign malicious drivers without users being notified, then revoked by Verisign: "The attackers would have needed to obtain the digital certificates from someone who may have physically entered the premises of the two companies [Realtek and JMicron] and stole them, as the two companies are in close physical proximity." states the report.
- "About Realtek". Realtek. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Empoyment". Realtek. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- For Realtek chipsets the last number in the chipset name indicates the chipset generation. So all chips ending in '3' are 1xx3 (2009) generation and all ending in '5' are 1xx5 (2011) generation.
- "Specialist Media Chipset Timeline". iboum.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "W32.Stuxnet Dossier" (PDF). Symantec. 1.4 (Symantec Security Response). February 2011.
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