PROFESSIONAL MPEG AUDIO ADAPTERS SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SAMPLE RATES AND FORMATS ON THE PCI BUS

NewCastle, Delaware - April 1997 - AudioScience Inc., a manufacturer of digital audio products for the broadcast industry, has announced the availability of their latest digital audio adapters for the PC platform. The ASI4111 and ASI4113 are distinguished from other adapters in their class by the ability to simultaneously record and playback up to five streams of digital audio, all with different compression formats and sample rates.

Using the Motorola DSP56301 24bit DSP, the ASI4111 and ASI4113 support a variety of audio formats including MPEG-1 Layer I/II, 8 bit PCM and 16bit PCM in both little and big endian formats. This allows system integrators and OEMs to add hi-fidelity CD-quality sound to their applications while effectively using only 1/4th to 1/12th of the disk space required for normal 16bit PCM.

The ASI4111/4113 are two of the first broadcast quality adapters to be based on the high-speed PCI bus. Compared to the older ISA bus, the PCI bus offers an order of magnitude improvement in data transfer efficiency, freeing up more time for the PC's CPU to run the OEM's application.

The ASI4113 offers four playback streams and one record stream. Each playback stream can be independently mixed to one of three physical outputs. All streams have independent sample-rate and format. Any sample rate is supported in the range of 8kHz to 50kHz with 100Hz resolution. This gives it the functionality of two boards, when compared to some of its competitors. The ASI4111 offers two play streams mixed to one physical output and one record stream. Both adapters also offer AES/EBU and S/PDIF inputs and outputs. This allows a direct digital link to other digital audio equipment such as digital consoles, mixers and satellite up/down links.

"We realized that as radio stations merge and consolidate, they need the flexibility of independent sample rates" said Stephen Turner, V.P.Engineering of AudioScience,Inc. "One facility may need the ability to broadcast multiple stations from the same automation equipment. Often that means different formats and sample rates and that's where adapters like the ASI4113 come in. One stream can be playing 44.1kHz MPEG while another is playing 32kHz PCM and the record stream is recording 48kHz MPEG".

All analog outputs and inputs are electronically balanced and have software selectable levels of between
-10 and +24dBu. The connectors are industry standard DB-9s allowing hassle free wiring and are pinout compatible with the Antex Electronics SX9 and SX23e. 20bit oversampling A/D and D/A converters are used throughout both adapters to provide the highest level of audio quality in the industry.

Advanced features of the ASI4111/4113 include 2MB of on-board DRAM for audio data buffering, providing glitch free audio. "During the many years we have been involved in the radio station automation industry, we have seen various cases where no matter how well you design the driver, something will come along and monopolise all the CPU time, starving the adapter and causing drop-outs and glitches" said Richard Gross, President of AudioScience, Inc. "We have taken note of what our customers wanted in terms of buffering and designed an architecture that attempts to be glitch and drop-out free".

Automatic volume fades implemented in DSP firmware, free up even more CPU time, by removing the burden of having the automation software both track and fade the volume controls. By just specifying a start gain, end gain and duration, the adapter will fade one or all of the volume controls on the adapters mixer in real-time.

Another valuable feature, incorporated from customer feedback is built in non-volatile memory for a software based security scheme. This allows OEMs to assign each ASI4111/4113 a unique serial number allowing the adapter to act as a hardware dongle or key, preventing piracy of the OEMs software and stopping operation of unauthorized adapters.

Both the ASI4111 and ASI4113 are 2/3 size PCI cards. Up to four cards maybe installed in a system using a simple one-of-four jumper located on the top of each adapter. The utilization of the PCI bus means that the adapter is totally jumper free as regards memory and interrupt settings.

Driver software for Windows 3.1, Windows95 and Windows NT is available free of charge from AudioScience's web site (www.audioscience.com). Also supported is Microsoft's newest operating system - Windows 98. All the standard waveIn, waveOut and mixer APIs are supported.

Also available is the HPI Developers Kit (HPK) which allows low-level operation of any AudioScience adapter under real or protected mode DOS, Windows 3.1,95 and NT. Languages supported include Microsoft Visual C/C++, Borland C/C++ and Visual Basic. An NDA is required for the HPK.

The ASI4111 and ASI4113 PCI based digital audio adapters are designed and manufactured in the USA by AudioScience Incorporated, 42C Reads Way, NewCastle, DE 19720, telephone (302)-324-5333, FAX (302)-738-9434. The companies web site is located on the Internet at www.audioscience.com. The ASI4111 is available now at a list price of $1995. The ASI4113, also available now, has a list price of $2795. Substantial quantity discounts are available.


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