Arkados' firmware delivers whole-home audio

Aug. 17, 2007
August 17, 2007 -- HomePlug Powerline platforms provider Arkados has launched a new version of its digital audio streaming firmware for use with its ArkTIC family of system-on-chip semiconductors.

August 17, 2007 -- HomePlug Powerline platforms provider Arkados has introduced a firmware version which the company says allows its OEM and ODM customers to design and build a digital audio system with more robust and reliable audio streaming, and an increase in the number of receivers that can play uninterrupted high-quality music throughout a whole home. The company says the audio streaming firmware, for use with its ArkTIC family of system-on-chip semiconductors, enhances the advantages of its platform over other available wireless distribution systems.

According to the company, updates to the media streaming firmware include enhancements and new technologies that improve the reliability of time-sensitive data. The firmware is designed to enable intelligent synchronization of all receivers within microseconds. The result, says the company, is precise audio imaging without "smudging" and "echo" effects from speaker-to-speaker and room-to-room. In addition, a "codec agnostic" environment supports multiple media codecs, which makes the platform an ideal component for whole-house audio/video applications.

"Reliable connectivity is key to enabling in-home audio and video applications that will satisfy consumers," comments Oleg Logvinov, CEO and president of Arkados. "Coupled with the proven reliability of HomePlug technology, our embedded synchronization method is delivering on these whole-house applications now, even when it is still a challenge for the fastest networking technologies."

The firmware contains updates to many components of the platform's application support, QoS, traffic management, and TCP/IP functions. Support for applications includes audio and video, media content directories, infrared remote controls, and user interface (event-driven and graphical) components. A QoS engine intelligently handles asynchronous and isochronous data, bandwidth allocation, synchronization, and authentication. Traffic management components are designed to support application-aware traffic shaping and routing, and to integrate with SNMP- and DLNA-based architectures. The firmware also includes support for HTTP server, Ethernet bridging and switching, Telnet, and a developer's interface.

Based in part on intellectual property obtained through the recent acquisition of Aster Wireless, the company says the firmware's "adaptive delivery protocol" contains technology that was developed through R&D under the guidance of Kodak.

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