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TI, Mistral Software co-develop virtual CD changer ref design

Posted: 19 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments? Mistral Software? Aureus? virtual CD changer? DSP?

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) and Mistral Software Ltd are launching a virtual CD changer (VCDC) reference design for next-generation A/V for car applications.

Built on TI's proprietary Aureus audio DSPs, VCDCs rip and store CDs four times faster than its traditional counterpart. The reference design can serve as replacement for the traditional mechanical CD changer, which has a high rate of defects among car parts. It supports multiple audio formats, several media interfaces and premium surround sound, offering manufacturers the flexibility to build multiple products with different functionality from the same board.

Enhanced capabilities
The Q100-automotive-qualified reference design can achieve a CD ripping/encoding rate of four times real-time or faster depending on the CD mechanism and allow storage to a fixed or removable storage device. The four times encoding rate means that a 60-min CD can be stored in 15mins. End-user experience is further enhanced with the simultaneous decoding feature, meaning they can listen to audio while CDs are being ripped.

The VCDC works with most the common compressed audio formats, including MP3, WMA, MPEG4-AAC and ATRAC. The solution can also be configured to include several fixed and removable media options, such as NAND flash, USB and SD. The fixed NAND flash is useful for storing ripped CDs in the car until they are overwritten, as well as for advanced features, such as time-shifting radio. Removable media options such as USB and SD, allow the user to take their ripped CD content out of the car to be played back on a home stereo system, as well allow them to import compressed audio stored on a home computer or digital music player.

By replacing the mechanical CD changer with solid-state components, VCDC eliminates moving parts and reduces overall component count of an automotive head unit. This results in a more dependable, less expensive head unit vs. traditional mechanical CD changers. To further reduce system cost, the Aureus DSP directly controls the peripherals, such as the CD loader, NAND flash, USB and SD, eliminating the need for a microcontroller.

The VCDC reference design is now available from both TI and Mistral. Mistral offers custom software and hardware design services to help tailor the VCDC solution for a particular application and form factor, enabling fast time-to-market.

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