SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept 28, 2005 -- Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) and Lab X Technologies, LLC, a leading engineering design firm serving the audio industry, today announced the successful deployment of the ESX(TM) EtherSound(TM) Module. Lab X leveraged the programmable features of Xilinx Spartan(TM)-3 Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to develop a flexible architecture with the ability to adapt to the many evolving Ethernet standards of the audio industry. The patented EtherSound protocol is an elegantly simple and open standard for networking digital audio, for use in professional audio applications such as live concerts and broadcast productions. The ESX EtherSound module will be debuted at the upcoming Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention in New York, October 7-10, 2005.
"Our move to Spartan-3 FPGAs is a perfect example of our forward-thinking approach to developing a more flexible architecture," said Lee Minich, president of Lab X Technologies. "Xilinx provided the low-cost high-performance solution we required to achieve our design goals."
In addition to its adaptable architecture, Lab X leverages the programmable features of Xilinx FPGAs to customize the "soft core" of ESX to provide manufacturers with functionality for user interfaces/external circuitry control (GPIO), signal processing, and huge amounts of audio I/O. One such manufacturer is Whirlwind, a recognized leader in audio for over 25 years.
Whirlwind recently deployed the ESX technology in its latest award-winning professional digital audio E-snake. Used in live concert productions, the E-Snake feeds audio from the stage to the mixing console. Historically this was accomplished through the use of dozens of heavy analog cables. By combining the ESX Ethernet-based audio transport, CAT-5 cabling, fiber optics and laser transmission, the result is a lightweight (7 pound) cabling system capable of delivering pristine digital sound.
"The flexibility of the Lab X FPGA-based ESX module keeps us on the leading edge of evolving digital audio connectivity by providing the performance and price points needed to deploy EtherSound and future protocols quickly," said Joe Barnes, Whirlwind's director of Digital Operations.
About the ESX EtherSound Module
The ESX Network Interface Module is a flexible network interface platform that utilizes a powerful Xilinx FPGA core to provide EtherSound network connectivity with customer defined audio I/O and GPIO configuration. The need for an external host controller and GPIO logic is eliminated by including an optional embedded microcontroller core (Xilinx PicoBlaze(TM)) which can handle all the user interface requirements. On board nonvolatile memory can store settings across power cycles. Extensive signal processing (including multiple bands of EQ, limiter, mixing, etc.) removes the need for an external DSP.
About Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGAs
Lab X is among a growing number of audio product manufacturers to realize the competitive advantage afforded by Xilinx 90nm Spartan-3 FPGAs, versus traditional ASIC technology. With the March 2005 introduction of its Spartan-3E family, Xilinx continues to add new market-specific features to its low cost Spartan Series while reducing the cost by 30X since its introduction.
About Lab X Technologies
Lab X Technologies, LLC (www.labxtechnologies.com) is an engineering design firm specializing in the development and implementation of connectivity, digital signal processing, and embedded systems solutions exclusively for audio markets. Since 1996, Lab X has assisted many companies with new product development providing hardware, software, and firmware solutions. Lab X's clients include home and commercial audio distribution, pro-sound, home theater, HiFi, and MI manufacturers.
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit www.xilinx.com.