Cypress gains design win in Digital Audio Accessories for Apple iOS devices

August 01, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
PsoC devices handle interconnect to musical instruments, delivering high-quality digital audio and managing the proprietary MFi protocol; provides compatibility with Apple’s Lightning and 30-pin connectors

Griffin Technology has used the Cypress Semiconductor PSoC 3 programmable system-on-chip for four of its music-creation accessories. The StudioConnect, StudioConnect with Lightning, MIDIConnect, and GuitarConnect Pro each provide a digital audio interface that enables users to connect musical equipment to their iOS devices to create and edit music on-the-go. The PSoC 3 device manages the digital audio interface and handles Apple’s proprietary MFi (Made for iPod | iPhone | iPad) protocol to communicate with devices using Apple’s iOS operating system via both Apple’s 30-pin and new all-digital Lightning connectors.

Griffin’s StudioConnect combines digital audio and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) capabilities to be used for recording and editing music on the iPad, and StudioConnect with Lightning adds compatibility with the new iPad (4th generation) and iPad mini. MIDIConnect provides industry standard MIDI input and output ports to an iOS device. GuitarConnect Pro connects guitars, violins or keyboards to an iPhone or iPad, enabling the user to record digital audio while practicing, composing or performing.

Cypress’s PSoC 3 MFi digital audio solution delivers bit-perfect audio streaming into and out of Apple’s GarageBand and other Core Audio and Core MIDI apps for Griffin’s accessories. With Cypress’s USB audio clock synchronisation and recovery scheme, PSoC 3 ensures no samples are dropped, delivering the highest quality digital audio with minimal external components at multiple audio sample rates (at standard intervals up to 24-bit audio, 48 kHz sampling rate). Cypress’s CY8CKIT-033A PSoC 3 MFi Digital Audio Development Kit for Lightning supports the solution with license-free reference hardware, firmware, and iOS app software, providing the tools to develop MFi digital audio accessories that are fully compatible with Apple’s all-digital Lightning connector.

PSoC devices employ a highly configurable system-on-chip architecture for embedded control design, offering a flash-based equivalent of a field-programmable ASIC without lead-time or NRE penalties. PSoC devices integrate configurable analogue and digital circuits, controlled by an on-chip microcontroller, providing both enhanced design revision capability and