Design Con 2015

GainSpan simplifies wireless audio with audio app dev kit

Clive Maxfield -November 17, 2012

The folks at GainSpan, specialists in low power embedded Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), have introduced a new Audio Application Development Kit (ADK) that allows developers to quickly and easily integrate audio streaming services into end products based on the GainSpan Wi-Fi modules. The Audio ADK provides an excellent starting point for development of new wireless audio applications such as remote speaker/microphones, walkie-talkies and baby monitors.

The new Audio ADK is a complete reference design that will accelerate time-to-market for the development of products that deliver music and live audio over Wi-Fi, while allowing flexibility of design and customization. With the Audio ADK, users can stream audio (mp3 format or real-time voice) between a Wi-Fi enabled device and an iOS based smartphone.

The Audio ADK includes an Audio application board, complete hardware design package and software suite with reference source code for the GainSpan audio embedded firmware and iOS based mobile applications. An Audio Application Evaluation Kit (AEK) is also available that provides a binary version of the software, and can be used to demonstrate a variety of application use cases: streaming music from smartphones to a remote speaker or headphones, streaming live audio data from a wireless enabled device to a smartphone, or using walkie-talkie mode for two-way audio communication.

The Audio board features the GainSpan Wi-Fi module that communicates with an audio codec chip over the SPI bus, a microphone, an amplifier to drive external speakers, and a walkie-talkie button. The board has line-in ports to connect to external audio sources and line-out for connecting to external speakers/headphones, WPS button for easy setup of the wireless network, serial flash for storage of custom web pages and/or backup firmware and status and mode indicator LEDs.

The GainSpan embedded software provided to run on the Wi-Fi module offers complete Wi-Fi functionality including the entire networking stack and services, wireless security and provisioning software. In addition, it supports mDNS/DNS-SD based device and service discovery that allows users to automatically discover and connect to the embedded audio profile.

The new Audio ADK provides hardware and software building blocks that provide a starting point for product development while allowing the developer to add application software and services, and customize the end product’s user interface. With the reference source code included in the kit, customers can rapidly build custom features suited to their audio applications.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from customers looking for a simple way to add audio capabilities to their connected products and our Audio ADK does just that. It provides a complete reference design that is close to an actual finished product that customers can leverage in designing and manufacturing their own products,” said Bernard Aboussouan, vice president of marketing at GainSpan. “This is the first in a series of ADKs featuring complete end applications that we’ll be delivering in the next few months—all aimed at helping speed time-to-market for customers.”

Other ADKs currently available include a Temperature and Light Sensors ADK, a Renesas Wi-Fi Sensor ADK, and functional ADKs such as Provisioning and Over-the-Air Firmware Update.

The Audio ADK can be used with the GainSpan GS1500M, a leading-edge 802.11b/g/n solution, or the GS1011M, an ultra-low power 802.11b solution which is ideal for battery operated devices.

Pricing and availability
The Audio ADK is priced at $3,000 and is available immediately. The evaluation version of the kit is available for $250. Customers can purchase the kits at GainSpan’s Online Store.

This article originally appeared on EE Times.

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