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Is 2015 the year of Hi-Res music streaming?

Posted: 22 April 2015
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Emphatically yes! Here we will take a quick tour of the streaming landscape and which service providers are on track to deliver true high resolution streaming not just souped up MP3 at 320kbps, this year.

What is Hi-Res Audio?

High-resolution audio has been formally defined as: "Lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD quality music sources."

Typically hi-res downloads are a minimum of 96kHz/24-bit with 192kHz/24-bit becoming popular.

First some background. The way music is consumed has undergone a seismic shift, and 2015 is likely to see another momentum shift with the rise of Hi-Res Audio (see our 5 Key Trends blog for more on this) and the launch of the first true Hi-Res Audio streaming service.

In the last decade the music industry has seen the decline of the CD, the rise (and fall?) of digital downloads and the emergence of on-demand streaming.

On-demand streaming has grown exponentially since the first service was launched, and the latest reports estimate that streaming accounts for more than a quarter of digital music revenues compared to just 3% in 2007. And this trend is expected to continue.

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What is an audio DAC?

Posted: 14 April 2015
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So you love your music. You value those immersive moments in sound. You’ve got the high end headphones. But still something is missing. The music lacks the depth and clarity of a live performance. Could a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) be the answer? In this blog we explore the world of DACs, what they are and why you should consider using one.

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5 Key Trends in Hi-Res Audio

Posted: 08 April 2015
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Is the audio market finally getting to grips with Hi-Res Audio (HRA)?

Here are 5 key trends emerging in this competitve and fast paced market.

  1. Entering the mainstream
  2. Going mobile
  3. Increasing Hi-Res content
  4. Cross-industry collaboration & support
  5. Consumer demand for sound fidelity
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Hi-Res Audio – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted: 31 March 2015
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Some of us are old enough to remember going to record stores and looking through the racks of LPs. Occasionally we would even be able to afford to buy one of these precious vinyl discs.

The age of vinyl and Hi-Fi hardware

In the days of vinyl, audiophiles would spend their money on Hi-Fi equipment that could reproduce the music exactly – looking to match the sound that was first heard in the recording studio when the track was originally created. This first wave of Hi-Fi enthusiasts focused on the speakers – purchasing the same type of professional reference monitors that the studio engineers used.

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Next Generation xCORE

Posted: 23 March 2015
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xCORE-200

As you may have read, after several months of hard work, we are pleased to announce the arrival of a new member to the XMOS xCORE family; xCORE-200.

Delivering up to twice the performance and four times the on-chip SRAM memory compared to our first generation xCORE multicore microcontrollers the xCORE-200 also adds a Gigabit Ethernet port, high performance and programmable XMOS USB 2.0 interface and up to 2Mb’s of on-chip Flash memory.

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Eurohaptics shows the advantages of touch

Posted: 01 December 2014
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The annual Eurohaptics conference earlier this year in Versailles saw experts from around the world gather to discuss their research in this field; 2014 marked the ninth occasion this conference has run.

There was a wide spectrum of interest ranging from academic research into human perception, to industrial applications of haptic devices that will ultimately enhance our world.

Daimler Benz, in association with Continental, was showing the haptic interface that is central to the new Mercedes C class.

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Multicore programming: XMOS shows how at electronica '14

Posted: 26 November 2014
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This was my first time at electronica... it is a large show, to say the least! That said, once you’re in the right area, there are many relevant stands conveniently placed close by. That area for me, and the rest of the XMOS team, was on our distributor’s stands Macnica and Topas. Some of the notable discussions we had related to AVB and its adoption in automotive networks. This was a common theme with many other stands presenting information on Automotive Networking. In addition to the automotive applications, I also found out about a really interesting AVB application, implemented using XMOS, involving a network with hundreds of endpoints. Watch this space for more details!

On the Thursday of the show, Elektor Magazine had invited us to present a couple of workshops on multicore

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How to optimize start-up time for automotive AVB

Posted: 10 November 2014
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XMOS recently attended the 2014 IEEE-SA Ethernet & IP @ Automotive Technology Day in Detroit. The event is in its fourth annual edition and was held for the first time in the US, after previous events were held in Germany. It was also the first time the event was organized through the IEEE Standards Association, a sign of the growing applicability and maturity of Ethernet as a technology in the automotive industry.

The theme of the event was “Moving towards a mature and pervasive automotive network: from infotainment to autonomous driving, how Ethernet is uniquely qualified to transform the vehicle”.  The two-day conference program showcased a number of themes, including the status of IEEE standardization efforts and physical layer developments that will enable an automotive Gigabit Ethernet network. New applications and use cases of the technology, security aspects, and testing methods and tools were also presented.

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Robot World 2014 - Delivering Service Robotics

Posted: 28 October 2014
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With the increasing level of intelligence and motion control being achieved in modern robotics, as well as the steady expansion of the industry into many more consumer markets, it s was not surprising to see that this year’s Robot World event in South Korea was incredibly well attended.

We enjoyed a great deal of interest in our joint venture with Synapticon; the XMOS Motor and Motion Control development kit. Along with this, we were also able to demonstrate a couple of the many successful commercial robotics applications using our technology, such as the Robugtix Spider and the Synapticon SOMANET powered Yujin GoCart.

The Yujin GoCart is a fantastic piece of technology. One of the first service robots onto the market to use the game-changing SLAM (Simultaneous Location And Mapping) technology, which enables it to always know exactly where it is, where it’s been, where it needs to go, but most importantly, how to get there. It can intelligently decide this in real-time whilst avoiding permanent or temporary obstacles!

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