WNAMM09: XMOS Chip - The Future Of Audio?

US Reprogrammable silicon streams audio over Cat5 and USB      30/01/09

No flash plug

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Not the first time we've seen audio over Cat5 sure, but this time it is a little different – the chips used as the brains in this operation are unique. They are repogrammable – most slicon is what it is, you design the functions in hardware and press em up, but with XMOS you can actually reconfigure them after manufacture. As CEO James Foster puts it, this means that in the case of audio networking, a variety of protocols can be catered for, both new and legacy with samplerates limited by the bandwidth. These guys have teamed up with various hardware manufacturers, including Apple to create an open standard for this kind of network distribution which means we will be one step closer to a unified audio and data network system for the home and the studio. It also perhaps signifies the future for FireWire, I hope not, I'm rather fond of it – it works y'know?


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