HEAD acoustics Introduces coreA2B High-Performance Solution for Automotive Audio Performance Testing

August 6 2019, 00:45
Providing high-quality audio is an important part of modern audio systems in vehicles. For this purpose, Analog Devices has developed Automotive Audio Bus (A2B) technology, optimized for delivering superior audio quality. Now, HEAD acoustics launched coreA2B, a high-performance solution for testing audio performance on the A2B bus technology implemented on a measurement extension board for the company's multi-channel hardware platform labCORE.
coreA2B is a new labCORE extension board for testing audio performance on the A2B bus technology. ©HEAD acoustics GmbH

Hands-free calling, voice recognition, personal audio and active noise cancellation are all part of the experience inside modern vehicles. Manufacturers active in automotive audio systems development need to design and evaluate audio performance using Analog Devices' Automotive Audio Bus (A2B) networking technology. A2B transports digital audio over a single unshielded twisted pair of cables, providing critical support to the vehicle infotainment systems with higher fidelity and less cabling.

HEAD acoustics' new coreA2B extension board for labCORE connects to any A2B bus in four user-selectable modes: Master mode, Slave mode, Bus monitor mode and Proxy mode.
The Proxy mode of coreA2B enables developers to actively receive and insert user-specified signals from the fully-operational bus. ©HEAD acoustics GmbH

Proxy mode is the most skillful and thus primary mode of operation of coreA2B, because the extension board gains full control over all data on the bus. With this unique feature, the HEAD acoustics solution stands out significantly from existing evaluation solutions on the market. In Proxy mode, coreA2B connects anywhere on the bus. Developers can manipulate all of the digital data on the bus via HEAD acoustics communication quality analysis software ACQUA. Only Proxy mode enables to record, process and send user-defined audio and configuration data from and to any channel and any node while the bus itself remains fully operational. 

Furthermore, in conjunction with labCORE and ACQUA, the Proxy mode allows coreA2B to receive, mix and insert arbitrary signals to the bus without interference with the original, unaltered signal. coreA2B does not occupy the master or any slave node position, thus developers can use this mode also on fully equipped buses.

Another key characteristic of coreA2B is the Bus monitor mode. This mode is for analyzing data traffic on the bus without interference, e.g. when trouble-shooting an existing bus. The new extension board acts as a “neutral entity”, sniffing out audio and configuration data at any point on the bus.
Besides the above-mentioned modes, coreA2B can operate as a Master. In this mode, the new extension board replaces the original master (e.g. head unit) and acts as the new master for the bus. Developers can connect up to ten slave devices to coreA2B. The Slave mode, on the other side, enables the labCORE extension to act as a slave node on an existing bus. Developers are able to insert a node at any arbitrary position. In this mode, coreA2B can send and receive audio data as well as receive configuration data.
Developers can also use coreA2B as an evaluation board for the A2B bus. In this case, it operates in Master mode and allows using all capabilities of analyzing, filtering and manipulating signals that ACQUA offers.
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