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Audio platforms offer faster time-to-market

Posted: 19 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor  audio processors  iPod  portable media player platform  PMP platform 

Based on its audio processor and software technology, BridgeCo Inc.'s latest reference design platforms enable consumer electronics OEMs to rapidly create audio products that allow users to network iPods and other portable music players, combine Internet radio with FM radio capabilities, add clock-radio functionality and manage all of their digital audio content through a new full-colour GUI.

The three new reference designs are based on BridgeCo's proprietary ARM-based, DSP-enhanced dual core processors, an RTOS and a proprietary application software stack.

"The mass market adoption of digital music continues at a fast pace," said BridgeCo CEO Gene Sheridan. "Audio electronics OEMs and ODMs are moving rapidly to combine traditional audio sources and functionality with new wired and wireless connectivity options to tap into the massive digital music collections and radio stations that are now available from the Internet. We designed our new trio of reference designs to allow our customers to quickly combine their targeted set of features and functions so that they can introduce fresh products with minimal incremental investment, fastest time-to-market and the lowest development risk."

The three reference platforms incorporate a WiFi wireless audio player with integrated iPod dock and USB interfaces along with various UI options. The basic platform (aDMP-002) enables users to connect any audio system over a home network to stream music from a computer or directly from the Internet, and also play tracks from an iPod or a USB storage device. The second platform (aDMP-003) adds a traditional FM radio tuner and clock / alarm functionality to the wireless audio, iPod and USB player.

Integrates a full-colour GUI
The third platform (aDMP-005) integrates a full-colour GUI to offer consumers a simple and intuitive way to manage their digital music collections and control audio equipment functionality. The initial implementation of this new GUI utilises an external display so users can browse music libraries and Internet audio services on their TV while listening to Internet, iPod or USB-stored audio on their stereo.

Each of the reference designs is offered with a hardware evaluation board, detailed schematic, BOM, recommended PCB layout and important design guidelines, along with the full middleware and application software stack, and a software/hardware customisation kit. The reference designs are available immediately for Rs.4.53 lakh ($10,000), which includes customisation and design support and also includes a BridgeCo software licence.

The BridgeCo DMP software stack and audio processor ICs are currently available and priced as bundled platforms that incorporate both the processor IC and DMP firmware. The combined firmware/processor platform is priced from Rs.679.80 ($15) in 1,000-unit volumes to sub-Rs.453.20 ($10) in high volume, depending on selected processor and included firmware modules.

The BridgeCo processor interfaces directly to 802.11/Wi-Fi, HomePlug powerline, IEEE1394, USB and Ethernet PHY chips, and it drives both digital and analogue outputs that connect directly to any audio system. The processor/firmware combination handles TCP/IP and USB protocols; MP3, M3U, PLS, VORBIS, WMA-9, AAC and other digital audio file formats, MMS and MP3 audio streaming, Microsoft Windows Media DRM for Network Devices copy protection and many other popular digital rights management (DRM) encryption/decryption processing and authentication. The processor with embedded firmware also supports UPnP interoperability along with infrared remote control functionality and interfaces to both embedded and external LCD options.

- Marty Gold

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