AUDIO over IP - REDNET 3 & 16 Review. AES67 Sets A New Standard for Computer Audio

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by rb2013, May 1, 2016.
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  1. mhamel
    I just heard back from the manufacturer - surprising given the time of day there.

    He is going to get me a quote for a single board for now with shipping to the US. He's also going to get me some board specs on Friday so that I can look into case and panel options to enclose it.

    If this works out well, I may look into putting in a group order... I'll update here as the experiment progresses. :)

    -Mike
     
    motberg likes this.
  2. Muziqboy
    Good find Mike!

    This may well be the best entry point for those in the sidelines waiting for a cheaper way to experience the AOIP sound.

    Thanks and keep us updated.
     
  3. davidland
    I love the horse:jecklinsmile:
     
  4. ferenc
    It is very interesting development:

    Audinate releases Dante IP Core for Xilinx FPGAs

    A single FPGA may now host both product software and Dante audio networking

    PORTLAND, OR. Dec. 13, 2017 — Audinate, developer of the industry-leading Dante® media networking technology, has announced the availability of Dante IP Core, a soft IP solution for audio manufacturers. It allows OEMs working with FPGA-based designs to add Dante audio connectivity to AV products at a lower cost and with greater flexibility than ever before.

    Development teams can save time, reduce BOM costs and minimize their internal footprint by using a single FPGA to implement both product applications and Dante audio networking. Dante IP Core efficiently runs alongside OEM product applications such as ASRC, audio encryption, and signal processing on a range of Xilinx FPGAs, providing channel counts up to 512x512 with ultra-low latency and sub-microsecond synchronization.

    Dante IP Core reduces the marginal costs of incorporating Dante in FPGA-based products, offering OEMs greater flexibility in aligning product families. Dante IP Core runs on the widely used Xilinx family of FPGAs. and provides all the interfaces required to be a fully functional Dante endpoint, including SiLabs clock synthesis, serial and parallel audio, DDR2 and SRAM, and a variety of standard control interfaces including UART, SPI and I2C.

    “Dante IP Core gives savvy manufacturers something they’ve been requesting for a long time.,” says Chris Ware, Senior VP of Engineering at Audinate. “By integrating Dante IP into FPGA based product designs, they can save costs, reduce board space, and more easily manage thermal constraints while adding features their customers demand.”

    Audinate is now a member of the Xilinx Alliance Program, a global community of qualified vendors that offers IP cores, tools and support for system designers who are developing innovative products using Xilinx FPGAs.

    Dante IP Core is available for the Xilinx Spartan 6 family of FPGAs. Support for the Artix 7 FPGA is expected Q1 2018. Contact your Audinate representative for information about other platforms. For additional information please visit http://www.audinate.com/dante-ip-core.
     
  5. ferenc
    https://www.audinate.com/products/manufacturer-products/dante-ip-core

    Dante IP Core
    Dante IP Core is a soft IP solution that implements high-performance Dante endpoints on Xilinx FPGA platforms. It enables you to add Dante audio networking flexibly and cost-effectively to FPGA-based AV products, minimizing footprint and reducing BOM expenditures.

    Dante IP Core runs efficiently alongside OEM product applications on a range of Xilinx FPGAs, providing channel counts up to 512x512 with ultra-low latency and sub-microsecond synchronization, enabling unprecedented levels of integration and flexibility.

    Dante IP Core is the clear choice for manufacturers looking to build best-of-breed Dante solutions with total control over cost, platform, features and performance.

    Cost-effective
    Get more out of your FPGA expenditures and resources by integrating Dante IP Core alongside your product applications on the same chip. The lower total solution cost of the single-FPGA model returns significant BOM savings that can be used to drive sales, boost margins, or deliver extra features.

    Compact
    By reducing designs to a single FPGA, products can be built with a smaller footprint and lower total power consumption. ASRC, audio encryption, signal processing modules – your choice of additional functionality can be built directly into the FPGA alongside the Dante core, simplifying your design process and enabling a huge range of unique and disruptive products.

    Flexible
    Dante IP Core runs on the Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA family and several 7-series FPGA families, allowing you to choose the optimal part for your product needs, space constraints, and power requirements.

    With support for up to 512x512 channels and 128x128 audio flows at sample rates up to 192kHz, Dante IP Core packs the same mighty punch as Audinate’s flagship Dante HC module – and is also available with lower channel-count configurations to enable cost-effective products for all segments of the industry.

    Future-proof
    Dante IP Core gives you the flexibility to upgrade your design with newer FPGA parts as they become available, allowing you to keep pace with the industry and stay on point with class-leading products that pass even the most demanding performance benchmarks.

    Feature-packed
    The Dante IP Core solution includes all the interfaces required for a complete and fully-functional Dante endpoint, including network, SiLabs VCXO clock, serial audio, DDR2 or DDR3 and SRAM, plus a variety of standard control interfaces including UART, SPI and I2C.

    Segregated from the audio processing engine, system management is handled by an integrated Microblaze soft-core CPU, which supports custom user code for your own embedded Dante API applications.

    Responsive Support, Extensive Resources
    The Dante IP Core license includes a substantial technical support package, and access to a comprehensive repository of mature development resources to help you design and implement host integration, embedded applications, and remote control and monitoring systems.

    Specifications
    Audio

    • Sample rates up to 192 kHz in multiples of 44.1/48kHz with pull-up/down
    • Bit depths: 24, 16 and 32 bits per sample
    • Up to 512x512 channels at 44.1/48kHz, 256x256 channels at 88.2/96kHz and 128x128 channels at 176.4 /192kHz
    • Up to 128x128 simultaneous audio packet streams for transmit and receive
    • Up to 1024 samples audio buffering per channel
    • Flexible synchronous serial audio interface, up to 32 x SDIN and 32 x SDOUT audio lines
    • Hardware audio metering
    Network

    • Standard RGMII/MII interface for Ethernet PHY or switch chip
    • Software and firmware are upgradable over network
    Clock

    • High-quality, low jitter clock with companion Silicon Labs clock generator
    • External word clock sync input
    [​IMG]
    What’s Included

    • Reference Project for ISE / Vivado
      • NGC / encrypted ED IF netlists
      • Top Level example file and constraints
      • Supporting files
    • Build scripts
    • Testbench with encrypted source files (Modelsim)
    • Reference schematics
    • Layout guidelines
    • Reference BOM
    • Activation dongle
    Supported Platforms
    • Spartan 6
    • Artix 7 (available Q1 2018)
    • Contact sales for information about additional Xilinx platform support
    Download the Dante IP Core Datasheet
    [​IMG] dante-ip-core-datasheet-12-dec-2017-v1.1.pdf
     
    mourip likes this.
  6. mourip
    This could be the real breakthrough for AOIP.

    Boy I hope that Schiit Audio looks into it. An Yggy with integrated AOIP would be killer.
     
    kazsud likes this.
  7. Golfnutz
    Schiit would be one of the very few that might have interest (no DSD), but I have my doubts about that (cost increase, might still require minor complexity setup, just to name a few cons).

    Looks like it's still focused towards professional audio since it's still only capable of 192Khz upsampling, and nothing mentioned about WiFi.

    The fact that it would eliminate an AOIP enabled box (ie. Rednet), is a good thing I suppose, but I don't think it's enough to influence consumer audio.
     
  8. joelha
    As someone who owns Schiit product and who has talked to some of the folks at Schiit, they seem to be intent on continuing to offer a pure value proposition.

    I believe AOIP would be viewed by them as a bell or whistle. They don't even believe in spending extra money for cables telling me they use Monoprice cable for their equipment.

    No judgement from me about the merits of using that cable. It's only a way of saying that if a consumer company is going to do AOIP, I don't think they're the one.

    If I had to guess, someone is going to try to milk (price-wise) this capability in a consumer device for all they think its worth.

    And it will likely stay that way until other manufacturers decide to do the same, assuming they ever do.

    Just one audiophile's speculation.

    Joel
     
  9. gefski
    I don't see anything about sample rate following. (Unless I missed it) That's a must for any mainstream consumer use.

    Also, Schiit's transformer coupled Gen 5 USB is getting close to the pristine Dante file delivery according to @johnjen.
     
  10. mourip
    I found that my D16 was better but once you start adding a Mutec USB with an LPS you are way past it.

    Even just using a Mutec USB with AES out sounded better to me.

    I really wanted it to sound as good so I could sell off some gear but it did not make it.
     
  11. Tand2016
    Solved!

    Had to use Word Clock Out from the Mutec, not from Ref10 :slight_smile:

    Hi

    Just got my new Mutec Ref10 connected to my Mutec MC3+USB and Rednet 16R. The problem is that I can not get my Rednet to lock on External Clock. The status in Rednet Control 2 shows amber. Any ideas?



    Amber: Illuminates when external clock is selected but not locked.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  12. ferenc
    There are few effects of this development.
    It helps to provide 2 channel interfacing on a more price sensitive way ("available with lower channel-count configurations to enable cost-effective products for all segments of the industry").

    It makes it easy to add Dante as an option to an existing DAC ("The Dante IP Core solution includes all the interfaces required for a complete and fully-functional Dante endpoint, including network, SiLabs VCXO clock, serial audio, DDR2 or DDR3 and SRAM, plus a variety of standard control interfaces including UART, SPI and I2C.").

    It will make higeh-end multi-room solution a very exciting opportunity as well.
    I can imagine companies like Chord, Devialet, Wadia, etc will be very happy with it as they have extensive knowledge of using FPGAs.
    I would be very much surprised if they would not provide Dante (or AES67 or Ravenna) options midterm.

    Merging has ZMan. It is an OEM RAVENNA circuit board, which affords the advantages of a networked solution to audio components of all sizes. Fully AES67 compliant, the ZMan can cut development time for manufacturers wanting to enter the expanding world of AoIP.

    So I think AOIP is happening. Once a developer familiar with Dante, it will be easy to add Ravenna as well.


     
  13. ferenc
    It is mentioned on the product page:

    "Segregated from the audio processing engine, system management is handled by an integrated Microblaze soft-core CPU, which supports custom user code for your own embedded Dante API applications."

    It could mean that a developer can integrate the Dante API with her/his application, so sample rate switching could be solved this way as well.

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    gefski likes this.
  14. johnjen
    Yeah the Gen-5 USB implementation is MUCH closer to the AOIP I now have. It's good enough that I consider it a viable secondary digital audio source.

    But with my latest tweak (dual voltage regulators) the gap has widened still further.
    Gen-5 is still viable, but the differences are more pronounced now.

    The thing is I could run the SPDIF output from the Eitr into my dual stack of tweako 3+'s.
    That will be an experiment for another day.

    JJ
     
    kazsud likes this.
  15. ferenc
    I really hope there will be companies to develop Dante/Ravenna to I2S interfacing, would be interesting option for quite a few existing DACs.
     
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