CSR Launches Portfolio of Soundbar Reference Designs

May 8 2015, 04:00
CSR announced the launch of three wireless soundbar platform example designs that offer manufacturers complete and flexible solutions designed to rapidly bring entry-level, mid-range, and high-end soundbars to market.

Market intelligence firm Research and Markets predicts the global soundbar market will increase at a CAGR of 28% by 2018[1]. By bringing together all the silicon technologies, software and configuration tools needed to support source-to-speaker processing for soundbar applications, CSR is enabling consumer electronics manufacturers and ODMs to capitalize on this rapidly growing market.

The requirements for features, performance, cost and conformance with power consumption regulations place a heavy burden on the development resource needs of a manufacturer entering or growing a portfolio of products for this market. The CSR soundbar platforms address this challenge by enabling the rapid development of differentiated products that provide consumers with a high fidelity audio experience that is simple to install, easy to operate and aesthetically pleasing in the modern digital home.

“Consumers increasingly want more from their audio experience, whether it be high quality surround sound, or the ability to wirelessly stream music from their smartphones or tablets to their home entertainment system,” said Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President Business Group at CSR. “CSR equips our customers with pre-designed platforms that deliver on these expectations, leveraging our strong heritage and expertise in audio and wireless connectivity to create powerful soundbar platforms that are flexible, fully featured and deliver an excellent listening experience.”

Entry-Level Soundbar Platform
By integrating the DSP, a microcontroller, analog and digital interfaces and wireless connectivity into a single SoC device, the CSR8670 , the entry-level platform reduces the overall system complexity and bill of materials cost for the customer. This offers OEMs and ODMs a fast and simple solution for creating single-chip 2.0 or 2.1 channel soundbar designs. The entry-level design supports analog and digital inputs, audio decoding and post processing, a wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth audio streaming, including support for the aptX codec, from smartphones, tablets, PCs and laptops.

When configured as a 2.1 channel soundbar system, the platform includes a subwoofer design that incorporates a dedicated wireless module based on the CSRA65700 ROM IC. This design works seamlessly with the CSR8670 in the soundbar to pass the extracted low-frequency audio data over the Bluetooth link with a very low relative latency. The subwoofer design also enables playback of low frequency audio from an enclosure tuned to deliver an accurate reproduction of bass. As an alternative to the traditional infrared remote control, a Bluetooth Smart remote unit can be used for functions including volume control and input selection.

CSR’s entry-level platform enables a complete wireless solution with all three Bluetooth links operating simultaneously from a single device.

Mid-Range Soundbar Platform
For the mid-range market, CSR has created a soundbar platform which allows for a more fully featured design while still reducing system complexity, development time and cost. The platform uses CSR’s feature rich MAPX7 audio DSP which enables multiple decoding and post processing options for a truly immersive listening experience; whether using CSR’s meloD suite or third party processing such as Dolby or DTS. The MAPX7 DSP and CSR8670 Bluetooth device featured in the platform design provide a wide variety of input connectivity options. Bluetooth audio streaming and support for the aptX codec, analog and digital wired audio inputs are supported together with a 2-input/1-output HDMI interface option. The design also features a Bluetooth connection to the subwoofer containing the CSRA65700 ROM IC.

The out-of-the-box design from CSR supports a 3.1 configuration which provides speaker drive for left, right, and center channels along with the wireless subwoofer output. This arrangement can be readily expanded up to a 7.1 configuration.

The mid-range platform has been designed with power economy firmly in mind, achieving standby power of less than 500 mW. Convenient features for consumers such as wake up from standby and NFC pairing have also been included.

High-End Soundbar Platform
The high-end soundbar platform with high resolution audio support is derived from the mid-range platform through use of the MAPX8, a pin-for-pin replacement of the MAPX7 device. The MAPX8 enables full support for a broad range of high resolution audio decoders and post-processors from providers such as Dolby and DTS, delivering the utmost quality, resolution and multi-channel listening experience for the discerning consumer.

The entry level, mid-range, and high-end soundbar platforms are available now. For all platforms, CSR provides complete design information, including example design kits, schematics, bill of materials (BOM), and PCB layout files. Configuration files are also provided, together with a comprehensive tool set to help customers to adjust the performance to their own needs.
www.csr.com | www.aptx.com

[1] Research and Markets - Global Soundbar Market 2014-2018: February 2014
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