New multi-zone technology for whole-home-audio and multi-room applications

13-04-2015 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Latest from Microchip is its second-generation multi-zone audio technology
and a mobile app for use in whole-home-audio and multi-room applications
based on the JukeBlox 4 platform. The JB Multizone 2.0 feature enables
tightly-synchronized and highly-robust audio streaming to multiple speakers
in conjunction with the JB App, a turnkey mobile app that enables easy setup
and operation of the wireless speaker.

Whole-home audio and multi-room audio systems allow consumers to group
speakers into a zone to play back a common audio stream. Consumers create
multiple zones each with their own audio streams such as pop music streaming
to a pair of patio speakers while the children play outside and soothing
classical music to four speakers downstairs, while dinner is prepared.

JB Multizone 2.0 utilizes advanced technology to reduce audio drops found in
traditional Wi-Fi streaming applications. Wi-Fi direct eliminates the need
for each speaker in a zone to connect with the access point, thereby
eliminating common problems associated with overloading access points.
Bypassing the access point also reduces the RF bandwidth consumed by half
resulting in increased streaming quality and/or the ability to add more
speakers in a zone. The addition of Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) to Wi-Fi Direct
reduces source to zone speaker latency and packet loss resulting in tightly
synchronized audio playback with minimal audio drops.

JB App is a complete mobile app that enables OEMs to quickly deploy a
complete whole-home-audio solution without having to manage an app
development project. OEMs can choose between source code for custom app
development or simply rebrand the app for release to consumers. Consumers
use the JB App to create and modify zones, select audio sources and easily
connect the speaker to the local Wi-Fi network. JB App source code is
available at no charge and supports both iOS and Android platforms, says the
company.

"JB Multizone 2.0 is a complete platform to quickly deliver a robust whole
home audio solution to market," said Sumit Mitra, vice president of
Microchip's Wireless Products Group. "The JukeBlox platform incorporates
advanced wireless networking technology to create a first class consumer
listening experience."

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