Digital and Analogue Audio
Audio has been always our primary area of interest for various reasons. Audio directly interacts with the human senses, it is something that everyone can experience. It is also an inescapable part of human communication and entertainment. From the technical perspective, audio is quite a challenging discipline. High quality audio requires dynamic range greatly exceeding 100dB, low noise and low distortion techniques. Audio exists in analogue as well as digital form with many different sampling rates and modulation schemes. Another interesting aspect of audio is that it lacks any objective metrics of quality. Those few technical parameters such as harmonic distortion figures, signal-to-noise ratio, etc. certainly cannot describe audio quality in its entire complexity of perception or musicality, which makes things even more complicated. Our expertise covers, but is not limited to the following topics.
Digital audio signal processing
Analogue audio signal processing
A/D and D/A conversion design
Interfacing and signal transmission
Digital audio format conversion
Analogue and digital signal amplification
We use Xilinx FPGA devices as our favourite digital signal processing platform due to the real-time stream-like nature of audio and sound. XMOS and ARM7 are our choices when it comes to USB audio and control systems. Our specialty is digital to analogue conversion without using monolithic DAC chips to overcome some limitations of heavily integrated mixed signal devices. There is one important thing we should mention here. We listen. We evaluate all of our designs by ears on a high quality audio system to make sure the objective technical measurements and subjective perception of quality go hand in hand.