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Multi-point wireless HD audio IC enables up to 10 devices

Posted: 29 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:audio chip  wireless  Bluetooth 

Avnera Corp. has developed what claims is the first multi-point to multi-point wireless audio chip.

AudioMagic is a second-generation mixed-signal technology that enables up to 10 devices to send and receive wireless HD audio.

By comparison, Broadcom and Kleer offer single-stream CD quality wireless (44.1kHz, 16bit) audio chips for wireless headphones using Bluetooth or with proprietary wireless protocols, but Avnera's chip is the first to connect multiple audio sources to multiple audio speakers with HD quality (96kHz, 24bit) audio.

"Avnera makes the only chip that can connect multiple audio devices wirelessly," said Will Strauss, senior analyst at Forward Concepts.

The key to Avnera's multi-point solution is the second-generation AudioLink software protocol stack. AudioLink enables bi-directional multipoint-to-multipoint audio streams among up to 10 devices with a single push-button interface.

After devices are paired, all audio sources become available at all speaker locations by merely pressing a single "next" button to toggle among the choices.

Avnera's technology eliminates interference from other devices in the 2.4GHz band, by performing a sophisticated frequency hopping operation and by using sonic reconstruction of corrupted data packets instead of retransmitting them.

The technique guarantees sub-10ms latency, which is imperceptible to the ear, and which keeps critical timing signals in sync for applications like the wireless connection to the surround sound speakers in Panasonic's Home Theatre.

"Our analogue SoC enables multiple simultaneous streams of uncompressed HD audio that sounds just as good as [a signal going thru] a hard wire," said Avnera CEO Manpreet Khaira.

Khaira was formerly CEO of Mobilian, the first company to put Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) in the same chipset. Intel bought that company and became an investor in Avnera.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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