BridgeCo Unveils Third-Generation Networked Audio Platform at CES
JukeBlox Combines New Triple-Core Processor, Linux-based Middleware, SDK and Reference Board Design
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BridgeCo Inc. (www.bridgeco.com), a leading provider of audio networking solutions, revealed its third-generation silicon and software platform for networked audio consumer products at CES today. The JukeBlox™ Networked Audio technology is a complete solution for connecting audio systems to home networks, the Internet and portable audio devices. JukeBlox incorporates BridgeCo’s latest ARM9-based triple-core processor with integrated Wi-Fi® support, the industry’s first Linux-based SDK and middleware stack, and a ready-to-manufacture hardware reference design with a component bill-of-materials (BOM) cost that is 20% below previous implementations.
“BridgeCo has acquired considerable market knowledge and consumer use experience through our two previous generations of audio processors and software stacks. With critical feedback from our growing list of global A-list audio OEMs, we have spent the last year perfecting our new JukeBlox platform”
The BridgeCo JukeBlox middleware stack has been radically enhanced to offer consumers an unequaled audio content and intuitive music discovery experience—delivered through a stunning new full-color QVGA video display and icon-based GUI. In addition to wireless access to content stored on home computers and network-attached storage devices, JukeBlox integrates popular online music services such as Rhapsody and Pandora. Rhapsody offers consumers unlimited access to millions of songs, professionally programmed channels and exclusive content from MTV, VH1 and other sources. Pandora is a personalized radio station that has exploded in popularity with more than 10 million users, almost entirely by word of mouth. Consumers can type in any song or artist and, within seconds, a personalized radio station is created to fit that sound and style based on an innovative system that utilizes highly trained musicians to analyze hundred of musical qualities of each song in the Pandora data base. Traditional AM/FM radio capabilities are also integrated into the JukeBlox platform.
BridgeCo completely re-designed the user interface based on extensive market survey and focus group research. The new highly intuitive GUI displays complete meta-data, including album cover art for every audio track. JukeBlox features proprietary one-click real-time audio fingerprinting that identifies and locates missing meta-data for every song, allowing users to add the track to a favorites list, purchase it from an online store or launch a personal radio station based on the track and artists identified.
“BridgeCo has acquired considerable market knowledge and consumer use experience through our two previous generations of audio processors and software stacks. With critical feedback from our growing list of global A-list audio OEMs, we have spent the last year perfecting our new JukeBlox platform,” said BridgeCo CEO Gene Sheridan. “Our new processor and middleware platform is optimized for AVRs, iPod docks, low-cost table-top radios and other networked audio products. The significantly expanded middleware offering emphasizes the user experience with radically new features for discovering music and managing the audio experience. Our new Linux SDK and build-ready reference design allows OEMs to rapidly design and market unique software-customized systems that are thoroughly verified and proven.”
Triple-Core Processor Adds Functions and Reduces Cost
At the heart the JukeBlox platform is BridgeCo’s new DM870 processor, an ARM9-based triple-core network processor with a dedicated audio engine and a dedicated real-time security processor. In the JukeBlox platform, the 240MHz ARM926EJ main processor core supports the Linux Operating System; MP3, WMA, AAC and other audio decompression standards; and offers generous additional processing bandwidth for system control and highly advanced user interface operations.
The powerful patent-pending audio engine is dedicated to complex audio processing for real-time MP3 encoding and WMA lossless decoding. The audio engine also handles popular sound enhancement algorithms that improve audio fidelity while saving on expensive additional DSP components. Based on SIMD techniques (Single Instruction, Multiple Data), it provides a total computational power of over 600 MIPS.
The tamper-resistant security processor offers the highest grade of security in the industry. Optimized for 1024-bit and greater encryption techniques, it supports DTCP, RSA and other next-generation DRM algorithms.
The DM870 includes multiple connectivity options with on-chip Ethernet, Wi-Fi and USB interfaces. With an integrated 802.11a/b/g MAC and baseband processor that interfaces to a cost-effective RF chip by Thomson Semiconductors, internal color LCD controller and on-board stereo PWM outputs, the DM870 reduces system component count and BOM cost by 20%.
Application Software Offers Complete Consumer Experience
The JukeBlox’s middleware bundle delivers a comprehensive user experience and a tested, market ready solution for audio OEMs. The software stack supports a wide range of streaming protocols, including HTTP, Shoutcast, WMS/MMS, RTSP/TCP, and LineIn; an unprecedented portfolio of audio codecs; and playback from external audio decoders (like iPod); giving users access to the widest range of online and archived audio sources.
Ready for Market, Ready for Customization
JukeBlox is bundled with the industry’s first Linux-based SDK for networked audio applications, offering OEMs and third-party developers unmatched modularity, scalability and customization. The ready-to-manufacture JukeBlox reference hardware design addresses all of the challenging layout and component selection issues associated with high-speed signal processing and RF implementation, significantly reducing design risk and time-to-market. The JukeBlox platform is UPnP and DLNA compliant, and EMC and Wi-Fi® certifiable.
Availability and Pricing
The DM870 processor comes in a 292-pin 17x17mm mBGA package. The JukeBlox development platform, including hardware reference platform and complete SDK, are available in Q108 for $10,000. The DM870 is sold bundled with the JukeBlox firmware, for $14.00/ea in 1,000 unit volumes. DM870 samples are available in Q108 with mass production in Q208.
BridgeCo, a consumer networking pioneer, offers the world’s most comprehensive, cost-effective and highly integrated processor and software platforms for connecting Internet media sources, computers and consumer electronics throughout the home. BridgeCo technology is used by leading consumer electronics manufacturers worldwide in a wide range of innovative products, including digital media players, audio adapters, AVRs, audio systems, Internet radios, musical instruments and breakout boxes. Its silicon and software platforms were among the first anywhere to be DLNA™ Certified.
Using BridgeCo’s processor and bundled software, OEMs can offer stand-alone media network products, or embed networking capabilities directly into consumer products, at competitive retail price points. The company also offers market-leading solutions for FireWire™ audio interface systems used by musicians and other content creators.
BridgeCo is an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified company with operations in Los Angeles, California and Zurich, Switzerland. Its key investors include Advent Venture Partners, Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe), Cipio Partners, Earlybird Venture Capital, ETV Capital, Fidelity Ventures, Intel Capital and Wellington Partners.
All trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners.