Ethernet-AVB conferencing audio equipment uses XMOS silicon

May 20, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
XMOS has secured ongoing business from leading German audio brand beyerdynamic, producers of high-quality audio systems.

XMOS' XS1-L16A-128 product is being used in beyerdynamic’s newest line of high-quality audio-equipment, with a significant factor in the design choice being the XMOS multicore MCU’s low-latency and deterministic characteristics.

beyerdynamic’s Quinta is a system of microphones and control units designed for wireless use in conferences, large-scale meetings and videoconferencing. XMOS’ hardware has, for the first time, offered the combination of high performance, predictable-timing, low-latency, small size, cost-effectiveness and ease-of-development required to make Ethernet-AVB-enabled conference devices practical.

beyerdynamic quickly ruled out solutions such as FPGAs as being both too large and too expensive for its product-profiles, in terms of both hardware and the software licensing costs. The company was, on the other hand, very drawn towards XMOS’ solution, which “carried no license fees, and was the only company that offered a complete hardware solution and protocol stack, (including Ethernet AVB) at a reasonable price.”

“XMOS’ technology has allowed us to bring out a unique conferencing solution ahead of our competitors,” commented Marcus Rembold, Product Manager Conference, beyerdynamic. “Based on the ease-of-development and success of this solution we already have several other Ethernet-AVB-enabled audio devices in the works, and expect to rapidly see other audio companies following our lead. We're convinced that AVB has the potential to become the standard for transmitting audio data signals on a network, and XMOS has allowed us to get ahead of the curve.”

Nigel Toon, CEO, XMOS, adds, “Audio is one of XMOS’ key application areas, and this first-ever Ethernet AVB conference microphone is an excellent example of the kind of complex, real-time, DSP-oriented tasks that our hardware excels at.”

“Having come in to explain the hardware at length, and having ‘wowed’ us with their AVB solution, the XMOS team gave us everything we needed, from the development kit to the evaluation software, and explained everything at length. XMOS’ field application engineers were available whenever we wanted to talk via email or phone, and produced