Atmel Introduces Digital Audio Gateway Reference Design for Digital Audio Streaming, Decoding and Playback
Atmel has announced the AVR32 ATEVK1105 Digital Audio Gateway kit, demonstrating digital audio streaming, decoding and playback. These audio capabilities serve the exploding market of audio accessories and peripherals that connects home and car Hi-Fi audio systems to the digital age. This includes the popular iPod docking stations. The kit is based on the AVR high performance AT32UC3A 32-bit Flash microcontrollers and provides developers with a ready-to-use hardware/software platform and a variety of interfaces and evaluation capabilities to meet their audio systems requirements and get faster to market.
The fast AVR32 CPU featuring DSP instructions is perfect for audio decoding tasks, and the UC3A handles two audio interfaces. For high quality stereo output, the chip has a stereo 16-bit bitstream audio DAC with internal FIR and Comb filters. For 4-channel or full surround sound, an IIS interface is available for connection to an external audio codec. Both interfaces are supported with drivers that make full use of the AVR32 peripheral DMA controller which significantly reduces the CPU overhead.
The ATEVK1105 board comes preloaded with software that demonstrates audio playback. A booted kit will scan any USB mass storage device for MP3 or other audio files, and play them back. The kit’s software will even scan the ID3 tag and present album artist and song information on the 2” QVGA onboard display. MP3 decoding from a USB mass storage device requires only a third of the AVR32’s processing capacity, leaving plenty of headroom for running the operation system, streaming the data and refreshing the display.
Customers with a license from Apple® are able to interface the kit to a iPod or iPhone® using an authorized Apple authentication chip adapter.
The AVR32 microcontrollers are built for high data throughput rates and features dual port SRAM, a 6-layer databus and a multi-channel peripheral DMA controller to help speed things up. And this is required when the UC3A features a 100 Mb/s Ethernet port, a 12 Mb/s USB port, two 33Mb/s SPI ports, four high speed USARTs, one IIS interface and two I2C compatible interfaces. The USB port has On-The-Go host function, allowing it to act as a host when connected to USB devices such as keyboard, mouse, mass storage or audio.
For applications where the on-chip 512 KB Flash and 64 KB SRAM is not sufficient, the EVK1105 demonstrates how to connect an external SDRAM, serial DataFlash, SD card reader and USB hard disk or memory stick.
The ATEVK1105 also features connectors for future wireless expansion modules supporting IEE802.15.4™/Zigbee®, and Bluetooth®.