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A Software-Centric Solution to Automotive Audio for General Purpose CPUs

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"Current automotive audio systems are in general distributed systems, both in terms of hardware and functionality. An automotive audio system may contain several DSPs, microprocessors and general purpose multi-core CPUs, with increasingly complex functionality split between processing cores. There are many situations where audio signals need to be passed back and forth between cores, such as for mixing or acoustic echo cancellation, and timing, synchronization, data formats and other discrepancies between components have to be managed, which adds significant complexity and makes the whole system more fragile and inextensible. Some reasons for this division of tasks are historical; in the past, specialized DSPs for audio equalization, filtering, etc. were required to offload the main application processors, and functions such as audio chimes have to boot-up quickly and meet more stringent safety requirements than entertainment signals. Nowadays, general purpose multi-core CPUs (referred to here as GP CPUs), such as ARM or Intel/AMD processors, have advanced considerably and many automotive SoCs feature GP CPUs that run at 2 GHz or more, but the DSP typically remains below 1 GHz. Consolidating audio processing functionality on a single GP CPU with QNX Acoustics Management Platform (AMP) reduces system cost and complexity, improves reliability, accelerates time to market, provides standards-compliance, and brings capabilities and performance to new levels."

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AES - Audio Engineering Society