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Multimedia PC Level 1 and Level 2 Specifications

This article was previously published under Q106055
Summary
The Multimedia PC (MPC) Specification was published by the Multimedia PCMarketing Council in 1990 to encourage the adoption of a standardmultimedia computing platform. In May 1993, the MPC Marketing Councilpublished a new specification called MPC2 (or Level 2 Specification) as anenhanced multimedia computer standard. The original MPC specification, nowalso known as the MPC Level 1 Specification, continues in full effect.

The appearance of the MPC or MPC2 certification mark on a computersystem or upgrade kit indicates that the hardware meets thecorresponding (Level 1 or Level 2) MPC Marketing Councilspecification. Software bearing the Multimedia PC mark has beendesigned to work on Multimedia PC licensed hardware.

By establishing a standardized platform, certifying hardwarecompliance, and providing interoperability between software andhardware for the consumer, the MPC Marketing Council is encouragingwidespread use of multimedia applications and hardware.

The following chart compares key requirements and recommendations ofthe Multimedia PC Level 1 and Level 2 Specifications.
More information

Minimum Requirements

                Level 1                Level 2                ------------------------------RAM             2 MB                   4 MBProcessor       386SX, 16 MHz          486SX, 25 MHzHard Drive      30 MB                  160 MBCD-ROM Drive  Sustained     150 KB/sec.            300 KB/sec     Data     Transfer     Rate  Maximum       1 second               400 milliseconds     Average     Seek     Time  Other                                CD-ROM XA ready,                                       Multisession capableSound           8-bit digital sound,   16-bit digital sound,                8-note synthesizer,    8-note synthesizer,                MIDI playback          MIDI playbackVideo Display   640 x 480, 16 colors   640 x 480, 65,536 colorsPorts           MIDI I/O, joystick     MIDI I/O, joystick				

Recommendations

RAM                                    8 MBCD-ROM Drive    64 KB on-board buffer  64 KB on-board bufferSound                                  CD-ROM XA audio ability,                                       support for IMA adopted                                       ADPCM algorithmVideo           640 x 480, 256 colors  Delivery of 1.2 megapixels/sec.                                       given 40 percent of CPU bandwidth.				
NOTE: The above requirements are the minimum system requirements; theydo not constitute a recommendation by the Multimedia PC MarketingCouncil for a particular system configuration.

Minimum Full System MPC (Level 1) Configuration

A full Multimedia PC system requires the following elements andcomponents, all of which must meet the full functional specificationsoutlined below. Please note that this is a minimum system requirementand not a recommendation for a particular system configuration.
CPU                    386SX or compatible microprocessorRAM                    2 megabytes of RAMMagnetic Storage       1.44-MB floppy disk drive, 30-MB hard disk driveOptical Storage        CD-ROM with CD-DA outputsAudio                  DAC, ADC, music synthesizer, on-board analog                       audio mixingVideo                  VGA graphics adapterInput                  101 key keyboard, two button mouseI/O                    Serial port, parallel port, MIDI I/O port,                       joystick portSystem Software        Windows 3.1 or Windows 3.0 with Multimedia                       Extensions (or binary compatible)				

Minimum MPC (Level 1) Upgrade Kit Configuration

A Multimedia PC Upgrade Kit requires the following elements andcomponents, all of which must meet the full functional specificationsoutlined below.
Optical Storage        CD-ROM with CD-DA outputsAudio                  DAC, ADC, music synthesizer, on-board analog                       audio mixingI/O                    Serial port, parallel port, MIDI I/O port,                       joystick portSystem Software        Providing system software with upgrade kits                       is optional.				

Full Functional MPC (Level 1) Specification

CPU

Minimum requirement: 386SX (or compatible) microprocessor

RAM

Minimum requirement: 2 megabytes of RAM

Magnetic Storage

Requirement: 3.5-inch, high density (1.44-MB) floppy disk drive.

Minimum requirement: 30-MB hard disk drive.

Optical Storage

Requirement: CD-ROM drive with sustained 150kB/second transfer rate;average seek time of 1 second or less; 10,000 hours MTBF; mode 1capability (mode 2 and form 1 & 2 optional); MSCDEX 2.2 driver thatimplements the extended audio APIs; subchannel Q (subchannels P andR-W optional--if R-W subchannel support is provided, additional APIsmust be implemented in MSCDEX driver; specifications for theseadditional APIs are available from Microsoft).

The drive must be capable of maintaining a sustained transfer rate of150kB/sec. without consuming more than 40 percent of the CPU bandwidthin the process. It is recommended that this capability be achieved forread block sizes no less than 16K and lead time of no more than isrequired to load the CD-ROM buffer with 1 read block of data.

It is recommended that the drive have on-board buffers of 64K andimplement read-ahead buffering.

Audio

Requirement: CD-ROM drive with CD-DA (Red Book) outputs and a frontpanel volume control.

Requirement: 8-bit (16-bit recommended) digital-to-analog converter(DAC) with linear PCM sampling; DMA or FIFO buffered transfercapability with interrupt on buffer empty; 22.05 and 11.025 kHz samplerate mandatory.

44.1 kHz sampling rate desirable; optional stereo channels; no morethan 10 percent of the CPU bandwidth required to output 11.025 or22.05 kHz; no more than 15 percent for 44.1 kHz.

Requirement: 8-bit (16-bit recommended) analog-to-digital converter(ADC) with linear PCM sampling, 11.025 kHz mandatory, (22.01 kHz, or44.1 kHz sampling rate optional); DMA or FIFO buffered transfercapability with interrupt on buffer full; microphone input.

Requirement: Internal synthesizer hardware with multi-voice,multi-timbral capabilities, six simultaneous melody notes plus twosimultaneous percussive notes.

Requirement: Internal mixing capabilities to combine input from three(recommended four) sources and present the output as a stereo,line-level audio signal at the back panel. The four sources are: CDRed Book, synthesizer, DAC (waveform), and (recommended but notrequired) an auxiliary input source. Each input must have at least a3-bit volume control (eight steps) with a logarithmic taper.

A 4-bit or greater volume control is strongly recommended. If allsources are sourced with -10dB (consumer line level: 1 milliwatt into700 ohms=0dB) without attenuation, the mixer will not clip and willoutput between 0 dB and +3 dB. Individual audio source and masterdigital volume control registers and extra line-level audio sourcesare highly recommended.

Video

Requirement: VGA-compatible display adapter, and a color VGA-compatible monitor. A basic Multimedia PC uses mode 12h (640 x 480, 16colors).

An enhanced configuration referred to as VGA+ is recommended with640 x 480, 256 colors.

The recommended performance goal for VGA+ adapters is to be able toblit 1, 4, and 8 bit-per-pixel DIBs (device independent bitmaps) at350K pixels/second given 100 percent of the CPU, and at 140K pixels/secondgiven 40 percent of the CPU. This recommendation applies to run-lengthencoded images and non-encoded images. The recommended performance isneeded to fully support high-performance applications, such assynchronized audio-visual presentations.

User Input

Requirement: Standard 101-key IBM-style keyboard with standard DINconnector, or keyboard that delivers identical functionality utilizingkey-combinations.

Requirement: Two-button mouse with bus or serial connector, with at leastone additional communication port remaining free.

I/O

Requirement: Standard 9-pin or 25-pin asynchronous serial port,programmable up to 9600 bits per second (BPS), switchable interruptchannel.

Requirement: Standard 25-pin bidirectional parallel port withinterrupt capability.

Requirement: 1 MIDI port with In, Out, and Thru must have interruptsupport for input and FIFO transfer.

Requirement: IBM-style analog or digital joystick port.

System Software

Multimedia PC system software must offer binary compatibility withMicrosoft Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions or Windows 3.1.

Minimum Full System MPC2 (Level 2) Configuration

Same configuration as Level 1 with all elements and components meetingMPC2 (Level 2) full functional requirements outlined below.

Unless all the new MPC2 or Level 2 requirements are included, a systemis considered a Level 1 machine.

Minimum MPC2 (Level 2) Upgrade Kit Configuration

Same configuration as Level 1 with all elements and components meetingMPC2 (Level 2) full functional requirements outlined below.

Full Functional MPC2 (Level 2) Specification

The following elements are specific to the Level 2 specification; onlychanges and additions from the Level 1 specification are listed. Allother elements from the Level 1 specification are in effect as well forthe Level 2 specification.

CPU

Minimum requirement: 25 MHz 486SX (or compatible) microprocessor.

RAM

Minimum requirement: 4 megabytes of RAM (8 megabytes recommended).

Magnetic Storage

Requirement: 160-MB or larger hard disk drive.

Optical Storage

Requirements: CD-ROM drive capable of sustained 300 KB/sec. transferrate, average seek time of 400 milliseconds or less, CD-ROM XA ready(mode 1 capable, mode 2 form 1 capable, mode 2 form 2 capable),multisession capable.

At 300 KB/sec. sustained transfer rate it is recommended that no morethan 60 percent of the CPU bandwidth be consumed. It is recommendedthat the CPU utilization recommendation be achieved for read blocksizes no less than 16K and lead time of no more than is required toload the CD-ROM buffer with 1 read block of data.

Audio

Requirement: 16-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC), 44.1 kHz samplerate mandatory, stereo channels; no more than 15 percent of the CPUbandwidth be required to output 44.1 kHz.

Requirement: 16-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with Linear PCMsampling; 44.1 kHz sample rate mandatory.

CD-ROM XA audio capability is recommended.

Support for the IMA adopted ADPCM software algorithm is recommended.

Video

Requirement: Color monitor with display resolution of 640 x 480 with65,536 (64K) colors.The recommended performance goal for VGA+ adapters is to be able toblit 1, 4, and 8 bit-per-pixel DIBs (device independent bitmaps) at1.2 megapixels/second given 40 percent of the CPU. This recommendationapplies to run-length encoded images and non-encoded images. Therecommended performance is needed to fully support demandingmultimedia applications including the delivery of video with 320 x 240resolution at 16 frames/second and 256 colors.

User Input

No changes from Level 1.

I/O

No changes from Level 1.

System Software

No changes from Level 1.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information regarding multimedia personal computers,multimedia titles, information on upgrading an existing system,information on how to gain approval for the Multimedia PC (MPC orMPC2) logo(s), and other general multimedia topics of interest, pleasecontact the Multimedia PC Marketing Council at the following location:
Multimedia PC Marketing Council, Inc.
1730 M Street NW
Suite 707
Washington, DC 20036-4510

Voice: (202) 331-0494, Extension 340
Fax: (202) 785-3197
NOTE: The Multimedia Development Council is the owner of the MPC andMPC2 logos.

For information regarding a specific multimedia product, contact themanufacturer of that product.

For related information from the Software Publishers Association, see thefollowing Web page:
References
"Multimedia PC Level 1 and Level 2 Specifications," Multimedia PCMarketing Council
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Article ID: 106055 - Last Review: 10/25/2012 07:23:00 - Revision: 3.0

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