SHARC audio module platform for rapid audio DSP project

25th February 2019
Anna Flockett

Analog Devices has announced the availability of the SHARC Audio Module, a hardware/software platform that facilitates efficient product prototyping, development, and production of a variety of digital audio products. Delivering an innovative combination of high-performance audio signal processing components and a comprehensive software development environment, the SHARC Audio Module is suitable for effects processors, multi-channel audio systems, MIDI synthesisers, and many other DSP-based audio projects.

Traditional product development efforts usually require a significant investment in time and effort to select components, prototype a board, and develop a basic software structure before developers can even begin to address their own product needs. The SHARC Audio Module significantly accelerates this process by providing an audio platform integrating a wide selection of analog and digital I/O with a fundamental software package and development environment. The SHARC Audio Module can be used as a self-contained system but can also be expanded, allowing for the creation of custom I/O and control surfaces.

“The SHARC Audio Module is an ideal central hub for development of audio processing devices,” said Brewster LaMacchia, CEO of Clockworks. “It’s allowed me to create a variety of highly functional custom I/O peripherals in a fraction of the time it would have taken to design an entire system from the ground up.”

The centrepiece of the SHARC Audio Module is Analog Devices’ ADSP-SC589 processor, an engine for audio processing, featuring two 500MHz SHARC+ DSP cores and an ARM Cortex-A5 core. Connected to the processor is a carefully designed set of system peripherals, including:

  • Two 2 Gbit DDR3 memories and a 512Mbit SPI flash memory
  • UART (for MIDI & more)
  • SigmaDSP ADAU1761 96 kHz, 24-bit audio codec
  • Gigabit Ethernet, S/PDIF and 1/8“stereo jacks
  • USB OTG & HS
  • AD2425W A2B multi-channel audio interface
  • Two 64-pin expansion connectors

In addition to the main SHARC Audio Module, Analog Devices is also offering an expansion board called a “Fin,” which provides additional functionality. The Audio Project Fin (ADZS-AUDIOPROJECT) is a MIDI and musical instrument/FX daughter card that provides a control surface with ¼” stereo I/O, additional connectivity, and expanded signal accessibility for the SHARC Audio Module.

“The SHARC Audio Module platform, and its support for the Faust audio DSP language from Grame University, enabled us to quickly migrate our audio synthesis and processing algorithms to a powerful and performant hardwareplatform,” said Pat Scandalis, CEO of moForte. “The Audio Project Fin had the perfect set of I/O for us to use.”

The SHARC Audio Module allows developers to focus on their own algorithm and user interface development utilising a compact, cost-effective, base platform with a highly optimised software and tools ecosystem.

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