Blackfin To Power New Home System

Paul Whytock looks at an entertaining new application for Blackfin and a high current controller with a very precise attitude.

Analog Devices' Blackfin Processor is now implemented in a concept design for a Networked Audio/Video Centre by Yamaha Corp. The Centre represents a new product category that provides a central device for playing back, storing, and distributing digital music, video and photos to any room in your home. The design is capable of demonstrating multi-channel, multi-zone output from a variety of sources, including a set-top box, PVR, DVD, mobile audio players, internal hard disk, mobile storage media, and Ethernet.

According to Yamaha, digital audio and video are allowing people to enjoy entertainment at home more conveniently than before, A single Blackfin Processor provides the convergent processing prototype.

What that means is the Blackfin architecture is able to perform both media and control processing for the Networked AV Centre. This eliminates the need for a separate DSP and microcontroller.

What does Blackfin actually do in the Yamaha prototype? Well, the processor's job is to carry out high-performance video playback from PC and streaming sources via Ethernet, while simultaneously performing high-quality audio playback by decoding formats including AC3, DTS, MP3, AAC, and WMA.

The AV Centre's design is also supported by the Blackfin Processor's ability to drive on-screen menus presented on a display. As a result, users can users make their entertainment selections through a remote-control device.

In addition to its work with Yamaha, Analog devices also just launched a new single-phase, high-current switching controller. The ADP1822 synchronous, fixed-frequency switching controller is well suited for high-current applications that demand regulated precision and reliability, such as wireless base stations and network computing systems.

A critical factor when designing to meet power-management requirements is how best to manage multiple power sources. The ADP1822 output voltage can track an input voltage when multiple power-rail sequencing is required. This regulated output can be dynamically adjusted up or down with the regulator's margining-control inputs. Margining offers the capability to offset the regulated output voltage by a few percent when system reliability is being checked.

The ADP1822 drives an all N-channel power stage to regulate an output voltage as low as 0.6V with 20A load current. The controller features a ±1% 0.6V on-board voltage reference, suiting it for next-generation DSPs, FPGAs, core supplies, and microprocessors, which require a low and accurate power-supply voltage under 1 V. The device operates from a 3.0 to 5.5V supply, and its voltage range of 1.0 to 24V provides flexibility for designers developing higher-voltage applications.

Additional features include programmable soft-start, power good indicator, shutdown, thermal-overload protection, overvoltage protection, and undervoltage lockout.

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