From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: (archived)

Cross Products, Hall 9, Stand F16 
CeBIT 1997, 13 - 19 March 

March 13, 1997

Sega-owned Cross Products announces the UK launch of its platform-independent Mirage CD Emulator designed to speed up application development and eliminate `trial' gold discs for PC, UNIX and Mac developers. First seen at CeBit '97 in Hannover earlier this year, Mirage revolutionises the development process and introduces extensive cost and time saving benefits.

The secret of Mirage's productivity is its real-time hardware emulation, giving a "soft" CD that can be completely recreated within a few seconds compared with nearly 20 minutes to burn a trial gold disc.

Until now, content changes, updates or additions meant producing a fresh gold disc, at a cost of approximately £3 each time. The number of discs used is considerable when developing real-time audio and video, or when fine tuning code to optimise access speeds. Mirage enables software developers to test the effect of any changes instantaneously and at no cost. Also, as custom drivers are not required to access the emulated CD, developers are not tied to any individual operating system or computer architecture.

"At last, developers can avoid the trauma at the end of the process so typical of most CD projects", says Ian Oliver, managing director of Cross Products. "The Mirage CD Emulator allows the development product to run effortlessly from 'CD' throughout the project. This allows a product to make best use of the strengths of the CD medium while avoiding its weaknesses."

As the sophistication of multimedia and games software increases, the ability to rapidly assess and optimise performance across a widening range of speeds and seek times is paramount. "Adoption of Mirage will result in more robust software performing to a higher standard," added Oliver. "With a list price of £1495, and typical projects requiring the burning of tens or hundreds of gold discs, the unit would pay for itself over just three or four projects. As Mirage saves development time as well as gold discs, the pay back period can be within a single project".

Once the product has been tested on the emulated CD the Mirage can also perform the functions of a CD mastering station by directly driving a CD writer to avoid buffer underruns and eliminating the need for a dedicated CD mastering PC.

Founded in 1989, Cross Products quickly established a world-wide reputation as a leader in the development of programming tools for home computer platforms. Today, as a research and development division of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises Limited, it concentrates on the development of tools and technology for games and multimedia developers. The company is based at 23 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EH.


Liz Howard/Tom Beston
Catalyst Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 118 988 6922
Fax: +44 (0) 118 988 6944
E-mail: [email protected]


Ian Oliver
Cross Products
Tel: +44 (0) 113 242 9814
Fax: +44 (0) 113 242 6163
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

Editors Notes and Technical Specifications

Emulation hardware comprises fast 32-bit RISC processor, 8MBytes SDRAM, Flash EPROM and three high-speed, Ultra SCSI busses.

SCSI bus use:

Expansion SCSI: Internal 2GByte hard disk is used for storing all content that is used in the emulation. Also used for connecting optional external hard disks and optional CD writer. Mirage can directly drive the writer which completely avoids data underruns.

Host SCSI: The Mirage appears to the development computer as a SCSI hard disk for loading and manipulating content. This bus is also used for Mirage configuration and remote control.

Target SCSI: The Mirage appears as a CD mechanism with fully configurable timings. Data accesses to the CD are satisfied from data on the internal hard disk with the Mirage processing the data on-the-fly to meet CD formatting and timing constraints. The host and target SCSI busses can be combined for single machine development or split to allow the Mirage to act as a "bridge" between different computers and architectures for cross platform development.

As a dedicated hard disk and dedicated SCSI bus are used for emulation, access timings can be guaranteed and the development computer's SCSI bus isn't overloaded.

Supported Modes and Data Formats:

Red book CD-DA digital audio
Yellow book CD-ROM mode 1, with ISO9660 file system
CD-ROM XA Mode 2 Form 1, with ISO9660 file system
Emulation of Single and Mixed mode Cds:

Multiple CD-DA tracks
One Mode 1 track
One Mode 1 track and multiple CD-DA tracks