Matsushita has unveiled its new inflight entertainment (IFE) platform for the Airbus A380, dubbed the EX2 system. Flight International first reported on Matsushita's plans to develop the new A380 system under the manufacturer's "Project Kayak" programme last year at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition in Seattle.

At this year's WAEA event, held last week in Seattle, Matsushita confirmed the EX2 has been specifically designed to accommodate the A380, but says the equipment "will be equally adept on all widebody designs of today and tomorrow".

Matsushita's focus since work began on EX2 last year has been on power requirements and reducing overall system weight. The company, along with other hardware manufacturers supplying A380 IFE platforms, has worked to achieve a 30% reduction in weight compared to other widebody systems.

"We anticipate that EX2 will be the fastest IFE system in the world, with a media library platform that doubles today's content and coverage, interfaces that will delight passengers, and an unprecedented features list all in the smallest package ever," says Matsushita senior vice president Paul Margis. Matshushita expects the EX2 will be ready to enter service in the second quarter of 2006, shortly after A380 deliveries are due to begin.

Rockwell Collins, meanwhile, is using its latest IFE system, ETES (Enhanced Total Entertainment System), as the basis for its hardware for the A380, but with new file servers and seat boxes.

Source: Flight International