From the Wires
CSR Breaks Barrier to Affordable Home Audio Networks
By: Business Wire
Jan. 7, 2013 05:29 AM
Many mainstream consumers may soon own and enjoy networked home audio products thanks to two innovative system-level DLNA platforms introduced here today by CSR plc (LSE: CSR; NASDAQ: CSRE). These fully integrated solutions will enable manufacturers to quickly bring to market a range of affordable DLNA Certified® products with Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth® and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. The introduction of the new Sonata™ networked media processor in combination with CSR’s extensive portfolio of wireless technologies makes it easy to create high quality, multi-room audio systems.
The complementary VibeHub™ and VibePlayer™ platforms work together to make it practical and easy to enjoy very high-quality, synchronised multi-room audio anywhere around the home, indoors and out, from local and cloud-based sources over an existing home Wi-Fi network. The VibePlayer platform offers a simple two-chip solution for building low-cost, portable, battery-powered wireless speakers and speaker docks that can be used either stand-alone or as part of a network. The VibeHub platform, based on the CSR Sonata processor, is used to create fully featured intelligent audio hubs for the home that can simultaneously pull content from digital media servers and Internet radio or other cloud services, as well as Bluetooth streaming media source devices, and intelligently route the audio to play on multiple VibeHub- and VibePlayer-based products located anywhere on the home network. The whole system can be controlled using an app on a smartphone, tablet or other smart mobile device.
“Our entry into networked home audio builds upon our experience and expertise as the leader today in wireless audio, enabling us to dramatically reduce the cost of having multiple networked speakers around the home,” said Anthony Murray, Business Group SVP at CSR. “We are removing all the complexities of developing networked audio platforms by providing a full audio ecosystem that ‘just works’. Wireless audio is our passion, and we want to deliver incredible audio quality for the consumer, regardless of whether they are streaming their content from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth sources.”
According to Murray, the advancement that consumers will see is the seamless way they can introduce new audio devices into the home and the ease and flexibility with which they can send content to different speaker devices around the home. The audio will be synchronised and of very high quality, thanks to the aptX® codec technology CSR is using.
VibeHub and VibePlayer Platforms
The VibePlayer platform’s low-power, cost-optimised design is ideal for creating affordable, portable, battery-powered wireless speakers, speaker docks and similar products. With the VibePlayer platform’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart capabilities, manufacturers can create products that can be used as traditional Bluetooth wireless speaker docks, but also as part of a home Wi-Fi network, with the ability to play audio sent to it from DLNA digital media servers and VibeHub-based products.
The fully featured VibeHub platform can be used to build wireless docking systems, intelligent audio hubs, networked audio amplifiers and a wide range of other intelligent DLNA Certified products. The platform’s Bluetooth capabilities provide the important versatility of being able to stream audio from a wide assortment of mobile devices, making it easy for guests to play their favourite music over the home network when visiting without having to join the home Wi-Fi network.
The new CSR Sonata networked media processor has been developed to support the needs of powerful, feature rich, networked home audio platforms such as the VibeHub platform. Its flexible architecture enables playback and forwarding of audio from many sources, including Bluetooth streaming devices, DLNA servers, Internet cloud-based services and USB and line-in inputs. In addition to handling the distribution of various types of content around the home concurrently, the Sonata processor enables the playback of identical content among multiple rooms.
The Sonata SoC is designed around a high-performance ARM® Cortex™-A9 CPU and Neon™ media accelerator that is more than capable of supporting not only the advanced networked audio software CSR provides but also a variety of additional features OEMs and ODMs can add to enable differentiation and customisation. It integrates Wi-Fi and Bluetooth stacks together with UPnP® and DLNA middleware to fully meet the processing demands of modern multi-room HD multimedia content distribution. A diverse range of I/O capabilities, HD graphics, touchscreen control and integrated ADCs and DACs round out the Sonata offering.
CSR provides extensive audio development kits for both platforms that include a range of software libraries with well-defined, high-level APIs. These kits enable manufacturers to develop software to their unique specifications, adding features like third-party audio processing algorithms or extra Internet radio and cloud services, as well as creating a customised look and feel for complete product differentiation.
A private, invitation-only demonstration of the VibeHub and VibePlayer platforms is taking place during the International CES 2013 show in the Springhill Suites, January 8-11. Attendees wishing to view the private demonstration should contact CSR for an invitation.
Availability and Pricing
CSR is engaging now with OEM and ODM customers on their networked product developments. Volume production of the VibeHub and VibePlayer platforms is expected in mid 2013. Please contact CSR for pricing information.
All CSR’s news at CES can be found on its online press kit: http://www.tradeshownews.com/events/2013-International-CES/CSR/
CSR is a global provider of innovative silicon and software solutions for the location-aware, media-rich, cloud-connected world. Our platforms are optimised for the automotive navigation and infotainment, digital cameras and imaging, connected home infotainment and wireless audio markets. We provide solutions to complex problems in the audio-visual, connectivity and location technology domains across a broad range of markets, with a technology portfolio that includes GPS/GNSS systems, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi®, FM, NFC, aptX® and CVC™ audio codecs, JPEG, MPEG, H.264 imaging, PDL printing, microcontrollers, DSPs and broadband receivers. CSR's technology solutions and market platforms enable its customers to deliver a superior user experience and are adopted by leaders in the auto, computer, home and mobile markets. More information can be found at www.csr.com. Keep up to date with CSR on our technical blog or CSR people blog, YouTube, Facebook or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CSR_plc
CAUTIONARY NOTE ON FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains certain statements (including statements concerning plans and objectives of management for future operations or performance, or assumptions related thereto) that are not historical facts and constitute ‘forward looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 in relation to CSR’s system-level DLNA platforms and related products and technology, and their performance characteristics in consumer electronic products, and other future events and their potential effects on CSR. These forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as ‘will,’ ‘can deliver,’ offers', 'allows', 'to enhance,’ ‘enables,’ 'designed to' and other similar expressions regarding the performance characteristics of CSR’s system-level DLNA platforms and related products and technology, and their performance characteristics in consumer electronics products, and their potential effects on CSR. Any future release of CSR’s system-level DLNA platforms and related products and technology or consumer electronics products containing such technology, related products or modifications to such products’ capability, functionality or features are subject to ongoing evaluation by CSR and its customers, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by CSR or its customers and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. Such forward-looking statements represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of CSR, and are based upon numerous assumptions regarding CSR’s business strategies and the environment in which CSR will operate and therefore involve a number of known and unknown risks, contingencies, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of CSR, including, but not limited to, those detailed from time to time in CSR’s periodic reports (whether under the caption Risk Factors or Forward Looking Statements or elsewhere), which are available at the SEC’s web site http://www.sec.gov. Each forward looking statement speaks only as of the date hereof. CSR does not undertake to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward looking statements contained herein, otherwise than required by law.
Bluetooth® and the Bluetooth logos are trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and licensed to CSR.
Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, WMM®, Wi-Fi Protected Access®, WPA®, WPA2®, Wi-Fi Protected Setup™ and Wi-Fi Multimedia™ are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Other products, services and names used in this document may have been trademarked by their respective owners.
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