Amlogic A113L Dual-Core Cortex-A35 Processor Targets Smart Audio and IoT Applications

Amlogic A113L Meson A1

Over two years ago, we reported about Amlogic A111, A112, A113 processors designed for audio applications such as smart speakers. A111 features four Cortex-A5 32-bit core, while A112 and A113D/A113X processors come with four Cortex-A53 cores instead. We have not heard much about those since then, but all those processors are still listed on Amlogic website, A112 is supposedly used in Xiaomi AI smart speaker, and Amlogic A113X1 Far-Field Dev Kit is still listed on Amazon’s list of devkits for Alexa voice service, but currently out of stock. Amlogic has been working on a more cost-efficient processor for smart audio and IoT applications with Amlogic A113L dual-core Cortex-A35 processor shown as Meson A1 in the Linux source code. It was just added in Linux 5.5. We don’t have much information about it, but it’s interesting as it’s the first Cortex-A35 processor from the company, and it targets the same smart audio application as Rockchip RK3308 quad-core Cortex-A35 SoC found in …

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UNISOC V5663 Arm Cortex-M33 AIoT SoC Comes with 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1

UNISOC V5663

UNISOC has launched a new processor for AIoT (Artificial Intelligence + IoT) applications with V5663 dual-core Cortex-M33 processor, supports for dual-band WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, and audio features such as a voice activity detector and microphone array support which should make it ideal for smart speakers, and other smart audio applications. UNISOC V5663 WiSoC specifications: CPU Arm Cortex-M33 processor @ 442 MHz with TrustZone, 32KB I-cache, 32KB D-Cache for application code Arm Cortex-M33 processor @ 416 MHz for WiFI and Bluetooth Memory – Built-in SRAM + external PSRAM interface Storage – eMMC, SDXC interfaces Connectivity – Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth 5.1 dual-mode (Classic + LE) Mesh Networking for WiFi and Bluetooth Indoor Positioning – WiFi RTT, Bluetooth direction finding (AoD / AoA) Audio – Voice Activity Detector (VAD), PDM and I2S/PCM interfaces Peripherals: USB 2.0 / 3.0, eMMC I2C, SPI, HS SPI, UART GPIO, PWM IR Touch and push-button interfaces Aux ADC Debugging – JTAG Security …

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Sony Spresense 6-core MCU Development Board Now Supports Java

Sony Spresense board was introduced in spring 2018 with a 6-core Cortex-M4 microcontroller from the company, GPS & GLONASS, as well as audio support. The breadboard-compatible board could also be inserted into an Arduino UNO R3 compatible base board, and Sony offered support for both the Arduino IDE and a C-based NuttX-based SDK. You’ll find some more details and photos in our “review”. Sony has now partnered with MicroEJ to provide developers with Java support on Spresense board through MicroEJ Virtual Execution Environment (VEE). A Java simulator (VEE Virtual Device) allows you to develop software for Spresense independently of the hardware. Beside plenty of libraries, MicroEJ VEE features MEJ32 32-bit virtual core is compatible with various architectures including ARM Cortex-M, ARM Cortex-Ax, RX, V85, MIPS32, TriCore, and Tensilica. Java enables application portability which means that any GUI/IoT/Security or application code can run on various embedded systems supported by MicroEJ VEE. There are three main tools for developers: MicroEJ SDK to …

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Up2Stream Pro HiFi Audio Receiver Board Streams Audio over WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, or USB

Up2Stream Pro

Last December, we wrote about Up2Stream WiFi audio module designed for people wanting to build their own DIY wireless speakers. The module is based on  MediaTek MT7688AN MIPS processor with 64MB DDR2 and 16MB flash storage The module also comes with a small baseboard allowing for an easier connection to speakers. The company has now introduced Up2Stream Pro model based on the same module, but with a baseboard adding more features including Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, and audio jacks. Up2Stream Pro key features and specifications: Audio Output – 3.5mm AUX jack and I2S header Input –  3.5mm AUX-in SNR: 91db THD: 0.03% Sample rate –  24bit up to 192kHz FLAC, Wav, and APE codec supported, but NOT SBC, APT-X, APT-X HD, or LDAC. Multiroom & Multizone support EQ control Connectivity – Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth 5.0 Streaming Protocols – Airplay, DLNA, UPnP, Spotify Connect Compatible Services – Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, Napster, iHeartRadio. Local Streaming from NAS or USB USB – …

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iMars Black is an Inexpensive Bluetooth 5.0 USB Audio Transmitter & Receiver

Bluetooth 5.0 USB Audio Transmitter & Receiver

Last year I wrote about a Bluetooth 5.0 audio amplifier board and the potential benefits of Bluetooth 5.0 for audio applications which include support for configurable periodic data broadcast which may improve power consumption, and reduction of reconnection times. It’s unclear to me whether those are clear advantages in practical terms but I’ve just noticed iMars Black, a Bluetooth 5.0 USB audio transmistter & receiver being sold on Banggood for $3.99. Bluetooth 5.0 (D00251) transmitter and receiver specifications: Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP, and AVRCP (receiver mode only) Range – Up to 15m (line of sight) Pairing name: ZF-169 Audio ports – 3.5mm Tx and Rx audio jacks Misc – LED: red or Tx, blue for Rx; Button to switch between Tx and Rx modes Power Supply – 5V via USB connector Dimensions – 39x25x12mm The Bluetooth 5.0 USB audio dongle ships with two audio cables, and a user manual. There are basically two use cases. The first pictured above is …

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Arduino Partners with Chirp to Enable Data-Over-Sound M2M Connectivity

Announced on August 12, 2019, Arduino has partnered with the London-based Chirp, a wireless data-over-sound software solution for machine-to-machine connectivity.  The system has the ability to work online or offline, as long as there is a loudspeaker and a microphone available. The software works with the Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense board in send and receive mode, while most Arduino MKR boards and Arduino Nano 33 IoT will also be supported by the SDK, but only to send data. The software and board are fully compatible with SDKs from a wide variety of platforms. The Nano 33 BLE Sense is available for purchase from the Arduino website, for $29.50. The sensor-rich Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense is application-ready right out of the box, and Chirp is ready to start sending encoded data from a device fitted with an audio speaker, to the board’s built-in microphone, where it is encoded and delivered. The sound is above the hearing range of human’s, …

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Android Patch Brings Bluetooth SBC Codec Audio Quality on-par with aptX

Android Bluetooth SBC HD Audio

In the context of CNX Software’s topics, SBC usually stands for “Single Board Computer”, but SBC also stands for “SubBand Codec“, a standard and mandatory Bluetooth codec which is supported by all headphones, portable speakers, car head units, and basically everything that plays audio over Bluetooth. SBC is known as a basic and low-quality Bluetooth codec, so people will often recommend using other codecs such as aptX, AAC or LDAC wherever possible, but ValdikSS has submitted a patch for Android which improves Bluetooth SBC codec audio quality on most existing devices, allegedly making it as good as the high quality aptX HD codec. ValdikSS explains this basically works by increasing the bitrate: My patchset bypass Android Bluetooth stack limitations and increase bitrate from stock 328 kbps to 452 or 551 kbps, depending on device speed capabilities. It’s already merged into LineageOS 15.1 and 16.0, Resurrection Remix and crDroid alternative Android firmwares. You’ll get the full detailed technical explanation in “Bluetooth …

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PecanPi Audio Streamer with Volumio, Squeeze or Rune Audio Goes for $399

PecanPi Audio Streamer

We’ve recently covered the upcoming Volumio Motivo audio streamer, but there’s another product for audiophiles running Volumio audio software. Orchard Audio PecanPi Streamer is based on Raspberry Pi 3 boards combined with the company PecanPi DAC HAT bringing high-quality audio to the Raspberry Pi. PecanPi Streamer specifications: SBC – Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with WiFi, Ethernet, 4x USB ports. PecanPi DAC HAT Texas Instruments PCM1794A high performance stereo 24-bit DAC, 192KHz sampling HW volume control and re-clocking via TI SRC4193 sample rate converter XLR Output: Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 130dB (A-weighted) Dynamic Range (DNR): 125dB Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): -110dB or 0.0003% Output Voltage: 5Vrms RCA Output: Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 124dB (A-weighted) Dynamic Range (DNR): 121dB Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): -110dB or 0.0003% Output Voltage: 2.5Vrms Headphone Amplifier (Dual parallel OPA1622): 390mW peak power into 32 ohms 780mW peak power into 16 ohms Dimensions – 125 x 125 x 70mm (Aluminum case) …

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