Cirrus Logic Unveils Intelligent Room Calibration Software for AVRs

10/7/2004 - Cirrus Logic Inc. (Nasdaq: CRUS) has introduced advanced software into its dual-core audio DSP families that will enable consumers to quickly and easily attune their living room acoustics with their home theater or stereo system. This Cirrus Logic Intelligent Room Calibration (IRC) software, which is targeted toward mainstream audio/video receivers (AVRs) that typically sell for less than $1,000, will allow consumers to replicate the rich acoustical environment of venues such as state-of-the art movie theaters, concert halls and jazz clubs all within about one minute.

The Cirrus Logic IRC technology includes two unique software algorithms: IRC Level 1 (speaker set-up software) and IRC Level 2 (room equalization software). These algorithms are available as an option with Cirrus Logic's flagship audio DSPs, the CS49500 and CS49400. Audio leader Onkyo has introduced two new AVRs featuring IRC Level 1 technology. The products are now available in North America (TX-SR602, TX-SR702) and Japan and have retail prices of $499 and $799, respectively.

"Through Cirrus Logic's IRC technology, consumers will be able to perfect their listening environment in their home, properly balancing out disruptions such as expansive tiled floors, mirrors, heavy carpeting, drapery and other architectural factors that can hinder the quality of the audio experience," said Tom Lee, vice president of Audio and Embedded Products Marketing, Cirrus Logic. "Also, in most home theater setups each speaker is typically not the same distance from the listener, when seated on their couch, recliner or favorite spot for enjoying their movies and music. The speaker set up feature in IRC Level 1 technology helps to get around this problem by optimizing the timing of sounds to the ear from the various speakers so that the ear perceives a smooth, natural progression of sound the way the audio mixers intended."

Cirrus Logic's IRC technology is designed to enable this automatic acoustic calibration feature on mass-market AVRs. Prior implementations of this capability by other companies are only available through a cumbersome manual process and only on AVR systems that can cost as much as $3,000-$5,000. Cirrus Logic has developed an advanced algorithm designed to render highly accurate results in significantly less time - a matter of seconds - compared with prior generations of competing technologies. Cirrus Logic's edge in delivering this robust consumer feature is the result of the company's strength in digital entertainment technology, as opposed to general-purpose silicon architectures offered by many competitors.

"Having a second DSP core on our CS49500 and CS49400 ICs allows Cirrus Logic's customers to feature the IRC technology and thereby differentiate their AVR products against their competition at similar price points," Lee explained.

Cirrus Logic's dual-core audio DSPs featuring IRC technology provide AVR manufacturers a scalable audio-optimized DSP solution that requires no additional hardware or board design changes. Further benefits include highly accurate sound quality and consistency of results when the calibration process is repeated.

How It Works
In a home theater setup, consumers will use a microphone, provided by the manufacturer, that is positioned in the room where viewing of home movies takes place. With a push of a button on the remote control, the Cirrus Logic IRC software sends test signals to different speakers in the room. The microphone captures the test signals and makes any necessary sound adjustments to the AVR's audio commands regarding the distance between speaker and listening position, loudness and frequency response of audio signals from each speaker. With Cirrus Logic's IRC Level 2 technology (room equalization) also featured, the system can be engaged to adjust audio frequencies from each channel on individual speakers (high-end home theater systems can feature up to eight channels of audio), thus giving the user a higher quality stereo or multichannel surround-sound experience.

"By focusing on ICs and software for the digital entertainment market, Cirrus Logic makes it easier for consumers to maximize their enjoyment of their stereo and home theater systems," Lee said. "And we're helping our customers introduce these great new features at more affordable mass-market prices."

Cirrus Logic Inc.
Cirrus Logic is a premier supplier of high-performance analog, mixed-signal and digital processing solutions for consumer entertainment electronics, automotive entertainment and industrial product applications. Building on its global market leadership in audio ICs and its rich mixed-signal patent portfolio, Cirrus Logic targets audio, video and precision mixed-signal applications in these growing markets. The company operates from headquarters in Austin, Texas, with offices in California, Colorado, Europe, Japan and Asia.

Cirrus Logic and Cirrus are trademarks of Cirrus Logic Inc.

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