Archives for August 2003

New AKM Chip Simplifies Programming and Support for Consumer and Professional Audio Systems

Chipmaker Asahi Kasei Microsystems Semiconductor (AKM) has introduced the AK4122, a 2-channel, 96 kHz asynchronous sample rate converter with a built-in Digital Audio Interface (S/PDIF Receiver).

The new chip is destined for DVD, car Audio/Video, digital TV, and PC audio applications. It provides a combination of standard audio input ports, plus a digital audio interface for DVD recorders and other audio/video equipment.

The AK4122 asynchronous sample rate converter can accept digital audio via standard DSP/I2S interfaces or S/PDIF or AES/EBU interfaces. The integration of the AES/EBU interface saves circuit board space and reduces system cost.

The AES/EBU section of the AK4122 offers the same high performance as the currently-marketed AK4112B, 96kHz 24-Bit DIR including a four-input (4:1) Selector. The AK4122 can also detect non-PCM data streams like DTS and AC-3, while a CD Q subcode buffer allows the chip to easily read CD data.

The AK4122’s built-in PLL eliminates the need to provide an external master clock, and the SRC section provides two audio input ports and one output port.

Price and Availability

Engineering samples of the AK4122 are available now, in an extremely small 48-pin LQFP package. The part is priced at $4.21 in 1K quantities. Evaluation boards and samples are available directly from AKM

Onkyo Introduces Affordable THX Select Home Theater Receiver with Bass Management for DVD-A and SACD

Onkyo has unveiled the TX-SR701 A/V receiver, available immediately at a suggested retail price of $800 (US).

The new multichannel control center delivers 6 x 100 Watts of power, along with THX Select certified performance and processing capabilities. It includes a full suite of high-end features, including digital bass management for DVD-A and SACD multichannel inputs, sophisticated video conversion and switching capabilities, and multi-room control flexibility.

Onkyo's new TX-SR701 multichannel receiver offers high-end features and THX Select certified performance at an affordable price

“With the TX-SR701, consumers can have the guaranteed performance and capabilities of a THX certified receiver at a very affordable price point,” said Onkyo product manager Don Milks.

“When you also look at features like digital bass management for SACD and DVD-A inputs, Onkyo’s zone 2 flexibility, and high definition video switching, we think this receiver is a real giant-killer.”

The TX-SR701 features Onkyo’s Powered Zone 2 capability, which can be used to power stereo speakers in a second room as well as the main zone thanks to a dedicated set of zone 2 L/R speaker terminals. The receiver is capable of processing separate stereo sources simultaneously for each zone, or sending the same signal to both. There is also a zone 2 pre-out that can be used in conjunction with an external amplifier.

The TX-SR701’s 5.1-channel analog input includes sophisticated bass management capabilities, which are critical for listening to high resolution DVD-A and SACD with most multichannel speaker systems. The incoming signals are digitized and then processed by the receiver’s DSP to route low frequency information to a subwoofer while excluding it from small satellite speakers that are not meant to handle deep bass. The subwoofer crossover is selectable at 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, or 150 Hz for optimal integration with any speaker arrangement. This feature can also be bypassed with Onkyo’s exclusive Pure Audio Mode for the ultimate in analog signal fidelity with full-range speakers.

For integration with video equipment, the TX-SR701 features five A/V inputs and three outputs, each with both Composite and S-Video connections, and two assignable Component Video inputs. The receiver features Y/C separation using a 3-line digital comb filter to convert Composite to S-Video for superior reproduction and simplified connection to any display. For HDTV and DVD video fidelity, component video switching boasts a 50 MHz bandwidth to prevent the signal degradation that can occur with low-bandwidth components.

The TX-SR701’s high quality AM/FM tuner section has 40 random presets, and the included backlit preprogrammed/learning remote control makes system integration and control simple and convenient.

Onkyo USA Web Site