The latest iteration of Frontier Silicon’s Venice 6.5 firmware offers multi-room capability using a range of audio sources, including Spotify Connect, local network content, Internet radio, and analogue inputs, with Bluetooth coming soon. In addition, Venice 6.5 supports Apple AirPlay, USB playback and broadcast digital radio (DAB+ and FM). A set of companion mobile apps and APIs to control speaker systems make Venice 6.5 the perfect turnkey solution for connected audio devices.
“Working closely with Spotify, we have developed a multi-room solution which allows wireless speakers, micro-systems, AV receivers, adapters and table-top radios to benefit from Spotify’s extensive content catalogue and provides an enhanced user experience allowing full control from a mobile device.“
This upgrade enables Spotify Connect users to play music through up to five speakers simultaneously, streamed directly over their Wi-Fi network and controlled from the user’s smart device. This gives the convenience of mobile control while freeing up the smart device for other activities (e.g. receiving calls, Internet browsing).
The platform also supports Spotify’s one-button playback and playlist pre-set features, which allows users to resume play of their last listened stream or playlist, without having to use their mobile device. The same functionality is also available for DLNA, Internet radio and auxiliary inputs – with other modes to be added shortly.
For manufacturers, the system comes with a customizable mobile app to aid with wireless set-up and multi-room configuration. Alternatively, a mobile SDK can be provided to brands preferring to integrate the multi-room environment into their own native apps.
Venice 6.5 is a turnkey solution that also supports Apple AirPlay, DLNA, Bluetooth control, Internet radio and USB audio. Venice 6.5 with Spotify Connect and multi-room is available shortly. The first devices are expected to hit the market this fall.
New Philips Spotify Multi-Room Speakers
Frontier Silicon’s Venice 6.5 platform was recently chosen to power the new range of Philips wireless speakers. The Philips SW700M and SW750M speakers are designed for Spotify Connect users and already offer multi-room audio synchronization, enabled by Venice 6.5’s high performance dual band Wi-Fi 802.11n and a software stack, optimized for audio applications.
The speakers are created by WOOX Innovations, brand licensee of Royal Philips in sound, home entertainment and related accessories. The Philips SW700M will retail for €99 and the larger, more powerful SW750M, for €149 when it launches in key European markets in October 2014.
Kenne Chu, Chief Business Leader at Woox Innovations, says “with the Philips Spotify multiroom speakers, the dream of seamless, high-quality music streaming throughout your home is now within reach. By incorporating Spotify Connect, listeners won’t be disturbed by unstable connections when streaming music to their speakers. Incoming phone calls, loss of signal range, or watching a video won’t spoil the party: the music just keeps flowing. Frontier’s superior connected audio technology makes this possible.”
Anthony Sethill, CEO of the Toumaz Group, parent company of Frontier Silicon, adds: “For a brand like Philips to rely on our solution for this range, is a recognition of our robust technology and dedication to our customers.”
New Digital Radio Module
Frontier Silicon also launched Verona 2, a new DAB digital radio module based on its 4th generation Kino 4 chip.
“Digital radio is making strong advances across Europe and beyond. As the global market matures, it is critical that technology solutions continue to drive this progress.”
The Verona 2 module is the world’s first digital radio solution based on a chip which integrates RF, baseband, application processor, audio decode and DAC functionality on a single piece of silicon. This technology is the product of $12m investment and builds on earlier generations of Frontier Silicon’s Kino chip series - the world’s best-selling digital radio ICs with over 20 million units sold.
Key benefits of Verona 2 include a 50% lower power consumption than the previous generation; enhanced performance and functionality with lower cost than previous solutions, all in a modular form factor for shorter time to market.
The Verona 2 module will power all major categories of consumer DAB digital radio devices - in particular, portable radios (with entry level models retailing at under $30), clock radios, docks, home audio systems and radio receivers with Bluetooth connectivity.
Over the next 18 months, Frontier will introduce a range of new functionality based on the Kino 4 solution – with a particular focus on automotive aftermarket products (especially, automotive adapters).
Frontier Silicon’s audio products for DAB/DAB+, Internet radio and connected audio - from silicon through software and production-ready platform designs - are already integrated with products from Argon, Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Bush, Denon, Dual, Geneva, Goodmans, Grundig, Hama, Harman-Kardon, Hitachi, JVC, Magic Box, NAD, Onkyo, Panasonic, Philips, Pinell, Pioneer, Pure, Revo, Roberts, Ruark Audio, Sangean, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, TEAC, TechniSat, Tivoli Audio and Yamaha.