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SoC platform built for MP3 players

Posted: 01 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Faraday Technology? SoC platform? MP3? WMA audio player? FIE7005?

Hoping to leverage the popularity of digital music, Faraday Technology Corp. is rolling out SoC platforms for portable MP3/WMA audio players. The first will be the FIE7005 platform for the flash-based MP3 audio player market.

The FIE7005, which doubles as a mass-storage device, uses an embedded 1T 8051 8bit microcontroller and 16bit DSP to handle MP3 and WMA decode, as well as ADPCM encode/decode. It also includes a range of intellectual-property blocks from Faraday, such as USB 2.0, an ADC for voice recording, a DC/DC converter, FM radio and battery detector. A software design kit is also included.

Faraday played up the low-power aspects of the platform. The FIE7005 is based on the generic 0.18lm process from UMC, which usually yields a 1.8V core. But by using its own library compiler, Faraday was able to squeeze that to 1.5V.

Designers also used an adjustable DSP frequency (up to 60MHz) and a programmable MCU clock (up to 40MHz) to make the design capable of shuffling through as many as 20hrs of your favorite songs on a single AAA batteryeven with LCD and headphone power consumption.

Market researcher iSuppli Corp. predicts that the market for MP3 players will grow to 131 million units by 2009more than double the size of this year's sales. Flash-based players will be about two-thirds of the market and have a 22.9 percent CAGR from 2003 to 2009. While HDD-based players will have 56 million units sold in 2009, up from 17 million this year.

Faraday said that it will follow up its flash-based platform with the FIE7010 audio platform for portable hard-disk players. The company also has a low-power offering in the worksthe FIE7020based on 0.13lm technology from UMC, which will be released in Q2 of 2006. It will support NAND flash, hard-disk drives and Secure Digital and MultiMedia- Cards. The platform can play tunes for about 30hrs.

- Mike Clenendin
EE Times

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