Microchip updates JukeBlox Wi-Fi streaming audio platform

December 15, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
The 4th generation of Microchip’s wireless module and software development kit add features for developing high quality audio products at competitive consumer price points

Fourth generation JukeBlox is a platform that enables audio brands to develop high quality, low-latency products such as standalone or multi-room wireless speakers, AV receivers, mini and micro systems, and sound bars. The JukeBlox 4 software development kit (SDK) in combination with the CY920 Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Network Media Module includes next-generation dual-band Wi-Fi technology, MultiZone/multi-room features, AirPlay and DLNA connectivity as well as integrated music services. Cost-saving features lower bill of materials to enable competitively priced consumer products.

The certified CY920 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Network Media Module is based on Microchip's low-cost DM920 Wi-Fi Network Media Processor, which integrates 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, high-speed USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity. Speakers using the 5 GHz band avoid the RF congestion found in the 2.4 GHz band, resulting in fewer audio drops and the ability to use a greater number of speakers in multi-room/whole-home audio systems.

The DM920 Wi-Fi Network Media Processor also features integrated dual 300 MHz DSP cores that can reduce or eliminate the need for standalone DSP chips. A PC-based graphical user interface (GUI) simplifies the use of a pre-developed suite of standard speaker-tuning DSP algorithms, including a 15-band equaliser, multiband dynamic range compression, equaliser presets and various filter types. Engineers with no DSP code-writing experience can implement DSP into their designs, while experienced DSP engineers can harness the full power of an industry-standard DSP architecture.

With JukeBlox 4, product developers can build solutions equipped to directly stream cloud-based music services such as Spotify Connect, Qobuz, Rhapsody, Deezer and many others while using mobile devices as remote controls. This allows mobile devices to move anywhere in the Wi-Fi network without interrupting music playback, and it greatly increases battery life. JukeBlox technology continues to offer seamless cross-platform support for iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Mac, along with a complete range of audio codecs and ease-of-use features to simplify network setup.

The SDK has whole-home audio (MultiZone/multi-room)