In response to increased consumer demand for immediate access to their remote music collections and streaming Internet radio service on inexpensive, advanced systems, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced its third-generation DA830 and DA828 Aureus[tm] digital audio processors. The highly-integrated, dual-core DA8x product line offers the combined features of an ARM-based applications processor and an audio digital signal processor (DSP) core, as well as a wide range of peripherals. This compilation results in a high-performance, cost-effective solution for consumer products such as network-connected Audio/Video Receivers (AVR), Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) and mini/micro component systems. Thus, designers can enable consumers to have access to endless amounts of music while enjoying the cinema quality sound they are accustomed to in their home theater system, but at a lower price.
For those designing AVRs, HTIBs and mini/micro component systems, the cost savings is a result of the integration of a 300MHz 64-bit floating/fixed point audio DSP engine with a 300MHz ARM926EJ-S core, an Ethernet MAC, two USB ports, an SD/MMC interface, PWM processors and an LCD controller, which eliminates multiple system components and reduces PCB board space. To ease design, TI provides a networked AVR Software Developer’s Kit (nAVR SDK) with an integrated Performance Audio Framework (PAF) that includes standard, multi-channel decoding and post-processing algorithms required for AVRs, including all HD audio decoders, Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD, integrated into the on-chip ROM. Trendsetting manufacturers can utilize the fully programmable ARM and DSP cores to create differentiated products as well as drive high-end features – such as smart volume, room correction and connectivity – into entry level audio systems.
“We’ve worked with TI’s audio processors for several years and they consistently provide the cutting-edge features and functionality that help us remain innovative in the AVR market,” said Nobuaki Okuda, executive officer, Onkyo Corporation. “With customers becoming more advanced and desiring more sophisticated, modern systems, we must provide end equipment that is second to none. As a leading provider of scalable solutions for the AVR market, TI’s technology gives us this advantage.”
Performance improvement for audio processing
Through sophisticated and innovative processor design, TI achieves performance and memory efficiency improvements, making the DA8x significantly more powerful compared to earlier generations of 300MHz DSPs. With a 20 percent performance improvement and 25 percent code size reduction for lossless HD decoders, a single DA8x device can execute DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel decoders at a sample rate of 192kHz while still providing vast performance headroom and memory for OEMs to add differentiating post-processing algorithms.
Ease of programming
The DA8x devices are fully programmable using industry standard tools and operating systems, enabling OEMs to bring unique solutions to the market quickly. They leverage the same development tools and build on an established eco-system. As part of the nAVR SDK, TI provides an industry standard Linux® operating system (OS) for the ARM926EJ-S core. Additional programming tools and support for the Linux OS can be acquired from MontaVista[tm]. Finally, a number of third parties can provide applications for the DA8x platform including support for Internet Radio and DLNA/uPNP.
The PA Framework on DA8x is software compatible with all previous Aureus devices, meaning any differentiated post-processing algorithms created by OEMs or audio third parties on previous Aureus devices are fully re-usable on the DA8x platform. The Aureus devices are supported by all leading audio third parties including Audyssey Laboratories[tm], DiMAGIC, Dolby Laboratories, DTS, Inc., Expamedia, Inc., Neural Audio, QSound Labs, Inc., SRS Labs, Inc. and Trinnov Audio, enabling OEMs to easily add innovative features to customize their products. For more information on TI’s Developer Network, visit www.ti.com/tidevnetwork.
The DA8x allows extremely fast development of network-connected AVRs and significantly reduces time to market for OEMs. For more information about TI’s audio solutions, visit www.ti.com/audio.
Pricing and availability
The DA830 is available from TI for USD $19.44 at 100u, for more information, please visit www.ti.com/da8x. Evaluation modules will be available through Spectrum Digital. For information on the EVM, visit www.ti.com/da8xevm.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 25 countries.