Intels HD Audio

 
 
By Dave Salvator  |  Posted 2004-06-24 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


"> The HD Audio initiative, formerly code-named Azalia, had several goals to improve the lot of motherboard-down audio solutions:
  • Intels HD Audio specification defines the controller, link, and board implementation of motherboard-down audio hardware.
  • Seeks to create a single audio driver that can be used with all compliant hardware.
  • Supports up to 15 simultaneous audio streams, supporting resolutions up to and including 192KHz/24-bit to enable two-channel playback for DVD-Audio and enough bandwidth for 96KHz/24-bit multichannel DVD-A. No DVD-Audio player application with full support of encrypted DVD-A is yet available, however. HD Audio also allows multiple codecs on a single motherboard to operate autonomously. One codec would drive the rear speaker outputs, a second could accommodate line-level input coming in from front-panel jacks, as well as microphone and headphone jacks. These two audio sections can operate independently of one another.
  • Allow multiple codecs on a single motherboard to operate autonomously. One codec would drive the rear speaker outputs, a second could accommodate line-level input coming in from front-panel jacks, as well as microphone and headphone jacks. These two audio sections can operate independently of one another.
As you can see from this diagram, HD Audio will be able to drive multiple codecs that can operate independently of one another, allowing different numbers of streams to be routed through each codec at different sampling rates. The architecture also specifies a "multi-client" implementation wherein a single programs audio chores can be tasked to a specific DMA engine. So rather than have a single app take complete ownership of the audio hardware, multiple applications can have audio being processed simultaneously.
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Dave came to have his insatiable tech jones by way of music—,and because his parents wouldn't let him run away to join the circus. After a brief and ill-fated career in professional wrestling, Dave now covers audio, HDTV, and 3D graphics technologies at ExtremeTech.

Dave came to ExtremeTech as its first hire from Computer Gaming World, where he was Technical Director and Lead (okay, the only) Saxophonist for five years. While there, he and Loyd Case pioneered the area of testing 3D graphics using PC games. This culminated in 3D GameGauge, a suite of OpenGL and Direct3D game demo loops that CGW and other Ziff-Davis publications, such as PC Magazine, still use.

Dave has also helped guide Ziff-Davis benchmark development over the years, particularly on 3D WinBench and Audio WinBench. Before coming to CGW, Dave worked at ZD Labs for three years (now eTesting Labs) as a project leader, testing a wide variety of products, ranging from sound cards to servers and everything in between. He also developed both subjective and objective multimedia test methodologies, focusing on audio and digital video. Before all that he toured with a blues band for two years, notable gigs included opening for Mitch Ryder and appearing at the Detroit Blues Festival.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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