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Advancing Audio Amplifier Evaluation using an FPGA-centric Approach

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

Get to know semify's smart use of an already existing FPGA platform for fast and seamless Audio Amplifier Evaluation.


Introduction

In the ever-evolving world of audio technology, precision and control are paramount. semify, renowned for its innovative FPGA solutions, recently embarked on a project that exemplifies these qualities: developing an FPGA-based Evaluation Environment for an audio amplifier. This project, leveraging the Opal Kelly XEM7310 FPGA board, showcases our expertise in creating versatile and high-performing audio solutions.


Project Overview


The core of this project revolves around the Opal Kelly XEM7310 FPGA board, chosen for its robust capabilities and efficiency in digital processing. The XEM7310 is a USB 3.0 FPGA development board based on the highly capable and widely used Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA. Our goal was to construct a system that not only powers the audio amplifier but also offers comprehensive control and testing functionalities. The dual interfaces of the audio amplifier – I2S for audio data and I2C for configuration – were integral to the project's design.



FPGA Functionalities:

  • I2C Configuration: We programmed the FPGA to configure the audio amplifier, ensuring optimal audio output.

  • I2S Data Generation: The FPGA was tasked with generating sine waves of various frequencies and amplitudes, essential for testing the amplifier's range. Additionally, it supported a I2S interface for directly connecting external digital audio sources.

  • USB Communication: A Python API was implemented for seamless communication between the PC and FPGA via USB, enabling automated test sequences.

Addressing Challenges:


The project's main challenge was streaming upsampled audio data at a high data rate of 1.152 MS/s to the PC. We meticulously managed this high throughput, ensuring uninterrupted data flow and transmission via USB to the PC. The Opal Kelly FrontPanel™ SDK and design components dramatically accelerates the development of your FPGA-based evaluation environment by providing three essential components:

  1. Software API and a robust driver to communicate with your device over USB

  2. Device firmware to manage FPGA configuration and communication

  3. Small FPGA IP blocks that integrate with your HDL to make host communication simple and easy


Block diagram of the FPGA based Evaluation Environment
Block Diagram

Project Outcome

The successful completion of this project stands as a testament to semify's ability to tackle complex audio technology challenges. We delivered a system that not only meets but exceeds performance expectations, highlighting our expertise in FPGA-based digital design.


Conclusion

semify continues to push the boundaries of digital design, particularly in the realm of audio technology. Our FPGA-based solutions are tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients, ensuring quality and innovation in every project.


If you require expert assistance in FPGA-based evaluation or prototyping or have a challenging audio technology projects, semify is here to help. Contact us via email (office@semify-eda.com) or our online form to explore how our expertise can bring your ideas to life, ensuring precision and excellence in your audio applications.



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