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How Intel® FPGA and L-Acoustics are Driving Audio Processing Innovation with Milan AVB

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L-Acoustics, a leading innovator in professional audio technologies, has launched a new multi-channel amplified controller called the LA7.16i that transcends the limitations of current high power amplifier configurations used in most sound installation projects. Unique in the market, LA7.16i offers a novel 16x16 architecture in a 2U chassis with seamless Milan-AVB redundancy. LA7.16i can drive any L-Acoustics speaker up to K2, enabling high-resolution amplification and processing of large-format speakers with less system budget.



Figure 1: L-Acoustics LA7.16i block diagram with the Cyclone® V FPGA in the center.

As shown in Figure 1, the Cyclone® V SoC FPGA is an integral component of the LA7.16i. The value brought by the FPGA is at least twofold. Firstly, the Cyclone V SoC FPGA allows for the implementation of Milan-AVB, an evolving, long-term, viable and durable network developed by the industry, for the industry. AVB is a network protocol that guarantees deterministic and synchronous network behavior, assuring on-time delivery of time-sensitive data. Milan, built as an applications layer on top of AVB, can be thought of as the common language that ensures seamless interoperability between any Milan-certified device, regardless of the original manufacturer. The Milan initiative produced standards for media stream format, media clocking, seamless redundancy, and more so that no IT expertise is required to set up a reliable and deterministic AVB network with Milan-certified devices. Cyclone® V SoC FPGAs offer a powerful dual-core Arm* Cortex*-A9 MPCore* processor surrounded by a rich set of peripherals and a hardened memory controller. The FPGA fabric, with up to 110K LEs (logic elements), is connected to the hard processor system (HPS) through a high-speed >100 Gbps interconnect backbone. Because of this rich feature set of the Cyclone V SoC FPGA, L-Acoustics was able to leverage the FPGA to support all software and hardware aspects of the Milan-AVB standard. The combination of an Arm processor and high-performance FPGA fabric enables the exceptional performance and reliability of Milan as well as the strong deterministic Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) standards maintained by IEEE as part of Ethernet, upon which Milan is built.

Secondly, the in-the-field reconfigurability of the Cyclone V SoC FPGA allows L-Acoustics to remotely deploy new features and capabilities in their LA7.16i amplifiers. With Intel® FPGA, the LA7.16i amplifier can stay relevant in the future as new audio standards emerge and processing requirements evolve accordingly.

Click here to learn more about Cyclone® V SoC FPGAs and here to check out the LA7.16i amplifier from L-Acoustics.