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Date: 17-06-14

ARM processor based DSP lab kit for audio sys design

Electronics engineers can now use an affordable DSP kit to design audio systems based on ARM Cortex M4 processor. ARM along with its partners ST Micro, Wolfson, and Farnell element 14 is offering audio DSP featured embedded systems kit called 'Lab-in-a-Box' (LiB) to EE colleges and universities worldwide. This kits supports design of products such as high definition home media and voice-controlled home automation systems.

This new DSP LiB is launched at the ASEE Annual Conference held on June 17 is priced around $50 (approx. Rupees 3000).

"Our Lab-in-a-Box offerings are proving hugely popular in universities because of the low-cost access to state-of-the-art technology," said Khaled Benkrid, manager of the Worldwide University Program, ARM. "The DSP kits, powered by ARM Cortex-M4-based processors, enable high performance yet energy-efficient digital signal processing at a very affordable price. We expect to see them being used by students to create commercially-viable audio applications and it’s another great example of our partnership supporting engineers in training and beyond."

The DSP LiB will begin shipping to universities in July 2014.

A typical DSP Lab-in-a-Box contains:
Hardware boards (ARM Cortex-M4-based STM32F4 Discovery microcontroller boards from STMicroelectronics and Wolfson Audio Cards from Wolfson Microelectronics and Farnell element14)
One-year renewable software licences for the full ARM Keil MDK-Professional development tool from ARM
Complete teaching materials, including lecture note slides, demonstration codes and hands-on lab manuals with solutions in source.

"Low-cost Cortex-M4-based microcontroller development kits, combined with suitable audio interfaces, represent an exciting new opportunity to spread hands-on DSP teaching to a wider audience," said Dr. Donald Reay, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. "These hardware and software tools are similar to those used for teaching and development of microcontroller applications and afford an ideal introduction to real-time and DSP concepts with wide applicability to embedded systems"

"Leveraging the STM32F4 MCU that is among the highest performance Cortex-M microcontrollers in the market, the Discovery board in the Lab-in-a-box is the ideal tool for teaching - and doing - audio-system development," said Laurent Desseignes, Microcontrollers Ecosystem marketing manager, STMicroelectronics. "Students will learn important control and signal-processing design skills that will serve them well throughout their careers."

Alistair Banham, Senior VP and GM, Custom Solutions at Wolfson Microelectronics, said: "ARM’s Lab-in-a-Box provides the ideal toolkit to help educate and inspire the next generation, and we are delighted to provide the Wolfson Audio Card as part of this innovative package. The Wolfson Audio Card is packed with features including Wolfson’s compelling high definition Audio Hub and digital MEMS microphones, enabling the electronics designers and engineers of the future to easily incorporate outstanding audio playback and audio capture into their applications."

Richard Curtin, Global Director of Strategic Alliance, Premier Farnell, said: "I am delighted Farnell element14 is involved in the ARM Lab-in-a-Box program. Our strategy is to support the engineer in the design stage with our leading range of development kits. Our turnkey solutions for suppliers such as Wolfson allow us to design and manufacture collaborative products such as the Wolfson Audio Card to support our customers at the first stage of the design cycle. Having the Wolfson Audio Card represented in the ARM Lab-in-a-Box is great for us and for the students that will be accessing them."

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