“There’s a big trend for much better audio content,” XMOS CEO Nigel Toon told EW, “there’s a backlash against MP3. They’re going to much higher quality helped by the fact that you can now transfer big audio files. Sony is pushing hi-res audio DSD digital streaming. The move is from CD quality at 44KHz with 16bits resolution to 384KHz with 24bits resolution.”
The xCORE-AUDIO processor is built on XMOS’ xCORE-200 multicore microcontroller processor technology, with stereo Hi-Res-2. There are two product lines: xCORE-AUDIO Hi-Res, targeting stereo hi-res USB headphone amplifiers, DACs and AVR systems, and xCORE-AUDIO Live for prosumer and professional audio applications including DJ kits, mixing and audio content creation.
“The demand for high-resolution audio content for consumption on the move, and the complexities of creating the same content in the studio and concert hall, are well served by our USB 2.0 and networked audio solutions,” said Toon, “by selecting output formats from our audio I/O libraries, and using multicore power to implement complex DSP functions, XMOS delivers professional audio solutions at consumer prices.” The chips will cost $2 in volume quantities.
xCORE-AUDIO Hi-Res 2 supports: USB 2.0 (Full-speed and High-speed); USB Audio Class 1.0; USB Audio Class 2.0, USB Firmware Upgrade (DFU) 1.1.; I2S, DSD and SPDIF output formats; 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz. The xCORE-AUDIO Hi-Res 2 development board is also now available.
XMOS is also sampling its Gigabit Ethernet enabled xCORE-200 multicore microcontroller which integrates 16 32bit-RISC-processor-cores, delivering up to 2000MIPs of real-time computing power and available with programmable MAC layer and Internet webserver support.
“This next generation xCORE-200 product family delivers twice the performance and four times the on-chip SRAM memory, when compared to our first generation xCORE multicore microcontrollers,” said Toon, “they add a flexible Gigabit Ethernet port alongside a high performance and programmable XMOS USB 2.0 interface, and devices will be available with up to 2Mbytes of on-chip Flash memory for system-level integration and security.”
The xCORE-200 XE216-512-TQ128 device includes: 16 high-performance 32bit RISC processor cores; up to 2000MIPs compute performance for general purpose and DSP; 512Kbytes of embedded SRAM memory; support for a 480Mbps USB 2.0 interface, including integrated PHY; 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with flexible MAC layer, webserver support and RGMII PHY interface; 88 fully flexible Hardware-Response™ I/Os; a 128pin TQFP package.
The XE216-512-TQ128 will cost less than $4.75 in high volume and a complete family of devices will become available over the next few months ranging from products with 8 32bit-RISC-processors, up to devices with 10, 12 and 16 cores.
Advanced xCORE-200 products with 24 and 32 32bit-processor cores will be available in the second half of 2015.