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Media player chip brings HD sound to music phones

Posted: 07 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:media player ICs? high-definition audio processing? power management?


austriamicrosystems has released the first member of a new family of media player ICs based on IP aimed at bridging the gap between the audio experience of music phones and Hi-Fi home audio devices.

The AS3532 is a music player subsystem whose core is based on a newly developed audio engine and audio post-processor which act as co-processors to an ARM central programmable unit. The audio engine, in a fully hardwired context, executes the decompression and playback of most popular compressed audio formats, like MP3, WMA and AAC for the least amount of power consumption with zero CPU load.

The audio post-processor implements an Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter (ASRC) with near transparent quality, a multichannel mixer with limiting function and a 10 bands graphics equalizer and supports 192kHz sample rates at 24bits dynamic range for high-definition audio processing. Three sets of I?S outputs can independently control stereo speakers, subwoofer and headphone or line outputs; these can also be used as multichannel audio outputs. The AS3532 audio subsystem additionally includes a stereo PDM digital microphone input thus completing all audio requirements for new generation mobile phones.

Interfaces included in the AS3532 can support either peer mode to a baseband phone IC or a "Black Box" companion music subsystem. In the latter case, the IC provides direct support for latest generation removable and embedded flash memory types with 4/8/16bit hardware ECC, for MLC NAND flash, iNAND, LBA NAND, moviNAND, oneNAND and removable card formats like SD2.0, MMC+, CE-ATA, MS PRO and CF.

An on-chip 512Kbytes buffer memory in the AS3532 music player IC allows single-chip support of all key audio formats, compressed, lossless and high-definition, polyphonic sequenced content, wavetable synthesizer, 3D positional sound, virtualizer engines and other digital audio effects. The AS3532 is complemented by a comprehensive software suite that has matured over three generations of products delivered in the multimedia player market. The SDK has passed the stringent test criteria of the Certified for Windows Vista program for downloadable content.

Says Roberto Simmarano, senior marketing director business unit communications at austriamicrosystems, "Home entertainment devices, such as DVD, CD and most recently Blu-ray HD players, set expectations for the entertainment experience of users that quickly become points of no return.

As file storage and communications bandwidth have become less expensive and more readily available, lossless audio formats which are a bit perfect representation of the original master source have become ever more popular, because people want to maintain a permanent archive of their high-quality audio files. AS3532 offers full lossless audio format support making it the perfect hardware platform to realize these consumer demands in the mobile phone environment.

Current portable media and music phones compromise the audio experience for the sake of appealing form factors and acceptable playtime. The AS3532 will enable consumers to enjoy the same immersive, high quality audio experience of their home audio devices on their portable gear yet with an exceptional threefold increase in playtime compared to current generation portable music devices.?

The AS3532 is sampled to lead prospects in a 6mm x 6mm CTBGA package. Depending on the mobile phone architecture, austriamicrosystems also offers a matching HD integrated audio front-end and power management component, which can be provided in the same 6mm x 6mm CTBGA package.

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