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Creative Reveals Multi-Core Sound Processor

By - Source: Creative PR | B 42 comments

Creative is launching a sound and voice hardware accelerator for the desktop and mobile markets.

Tuesday Creative Technology revealed the internally-developed Sound Core3D, a high performance audio processor combining four Quartet digital signaling processor (DSP) cores and a high-quality HD audio codec onto one low-power chip. The new processor will arrive in two flavors when it eventually hits the market: an HD audio configuration for desktops and an embedded configuration for consumer electronics.

According to the company, the Sound Core3D comprises of the four Quartet DSP cores, 6-channel 24-bit 102dB digital-to-analog converters, 4-channel 24-bits 101dB analog-to-digital converters, integrated headphone amplifier-out, digital microphone interface, S/PDIF inputs and outputs and general purpose inputs and outputs (GPIO) all in a compact 56-pin QFP package. It will also be Dolby Digital decode certified, depending on the parent device.

"We designed a sound and voice processor that will enable our OEM partners to deliver the highest quality Sound Blaster audio ever available for a motherboard while also bringing a new level of quality to sound and voice processing to consumer electronics products," said Steve Erickson, VP and GM of audio and video products at Creative Labs, Inc. "With Sound Core3D we deliver a versatile chip that can deliver the highest performance voice processing and audio playback from a single chip."

Creative also detailed the chip's support for its CrystalVoice technology designed specifically for "delivering crystal clear vocal fidelity in video conferencing, multiplayer games and online chats." CrystalVoice includes acoustic echo cancellation, background noise reduction and voice focusing, a voice-specific smart volume, a special equalizer and an effects bundle. The chip will also support THX TruStudio Pro and feature an additional audio toolbox of algorithms including a 10-band graphic EQ, bass management, speaker calibration, limiter, reverb and a pitch shifter.

Currently there's no indication of when we'll see Creative's Sound Core3D enter the market. However, Gigabyte has already signed on to incorporate the new technology into its motherboards. “We’re excited to continue our long-standing relationship with Creative to give our customers the best-sounding HD audio and voice processing available,” the company said.

More should be revealed this week at Computex, so stay tuned.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , May 31, 2011 9:22 PM
    likely will require bloated software that will take years to stabilize. . .
  • 15 Hide
    Harby , May 31, 2011 9:25 PM
    broadleaf35likely will require bloated software that will take years to stabilize. . .


    QFT, I'm sure it'll be plagued by crappy drivers.
  • 12 Hide
    phatboe , May 31, 2011 9:24 PM
    I agree with erichoyt. Didn't MS remove hardware acceleration for audio since Vista (I still have not figured out why they did that)? Also the MSRP for discrete audio cards is way too high for what they are worth IMO.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , May 31, 2011 9:05 PM
    Have a feeling we'll be seeing these in Gigabyte's next version of their G1-Killer boards.

    Anyway, its cool, but not really necessary if you ask me.
  • 0 Hide
    erichoyt , May 31, 2011 9:05 PM
    Meh...Does this really affect your average gamer? I'm running a Klipsh 2.1 (awesome) on standard Intel MoBo driver...
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , May 31, 2011 9:22 PM
    likely will require bloated software that will take years to stabilize. . .
  • 12 Hide
    phatboe , May 31, 2011 9:24 PM
    I agree with erichoyt. Didn't MS remove hardware acceleration for audio since Vista (I still have not figured out why they did that)? Also the MSRP for discrete audio cards is way too high for what they are worth IMO.
  • 15 Hide
    Harby , May 31, 2011 9:25 PM
    broadleaf35likely will require bloated software that will take years to stabilize. . .


    QFT, I'm sure it'll be plagued by crappy drivers.
  • 2 Hide
    Haserath , May 31, 2011 9:25 PM
    erichoytMeh...Does this really affect your average gamer? I'm running a Klipsh 2.1 (awesome) on standard Intel MoBo driver...


    Not necessary, but it's nice to have. Believe me, there is a difference between the onboard with good enough sound compared to something like this. Try one before commenting, you'll need some decent speakers to go along with it too. Besides, even though I don't have a soundcard like this, I have some decent headphones that make gaming easier as I can tell which direction someone is coming from. With a 5.1 setup and a card like this you would be blown away.
  • 6 Hide
    Harby , May 31, 2011 9:26 PM
    erichoytMeh...Does this really affect your average gamer? I'm running a Klipsh 2.1 (awesome) on standard Intel MoBo driver...


    Yes, a dedicated soundcard does affect your average gamer. Since you're running decent speakers you're killing them driving them off the horrible realtek or w/e onboard soundcard.
  • 6 Hide
    dioxholster , May 31, 2011 9:26 PM
    @erichoyt,

    from my experience those sound cards do make the sound better, and with good speakers like klipsh you will notice the difference right away. i dont know the science behind it but for some unknown reason they sound better.
  • -3 Hide
    dgingeri , May 31, 2011 9:26 PM
    oh, great, an even more expensive way to make your system crash. I'm certainly not buying it.

    I gave CL a slight chance to screw me over and crash my system when I bought a motherboard with "X-Fi MB2" sound, which turned out to be Creative software on a Realtek sound chip. Lo and behold, they did not disappoint, and it crashed my system every day. I uninstall the CL software and it works just fine. I got the same thing out of the last 2 sound cards I bought from them (the last one being over 5 years ago) and they certainly slacked in the support area.

    I hope this card flops and finally puts that stupid company under.
  • 3 Hide
    caqde , May 31, 2011 9:30 PM
    phatboeI agree with erichoyt. Didn't MS remove hardware acceleration for audio since Vista (I still have not figured out why they did that)? Also the MSRP for discrete audio cards is way too high for what they are worth IMO.


    Yes they removed Acceleration from their DirectX API, but they did not remove the ability to use Hardware acceleration through API's like OpenAL it is still possible to access the hardware through code in Windows Vista and 7. It is just that Microsoft removed the well known legacy way of doing so through DirectSound3d that alot of old and still played games use and even some recent (last 3 years) games.
  • 1 Hide
    quickmana , May 31, 2011 9:33 PM
    I have been a big creative fan for many years. Man their drivers are awful though. You have to be very careful to get a clean install or just forget using it.
  • 0 Hide
    blppt , May 31, 2011 9:39 PM
    While the early X-Fi drivers blew chunks, I cant say I've had a single crash due to the XFi in a looong time. You could also blame the complete redesign of the driver architecture for Vista as well in those early problems.

    And yeah, you can definitely hear a difference in sound quality between onboard and standalone cards like X-Fi even just listening to mp3s.
  • 2 Hide
    Humans think , May 31, 2011 9:41 PM
    I recently used my old P4 2.4 running Win XP and a modest CL Live 5.1 soundcard and it sounded a lot better than my current system, it seemed like I had forgotten how good music could be. Using an analog amplifier with a pair of BOSE speakers the difference was overwhelming. Just my experience on the matter.

    Still the approach of CL in embeddable chips is a good marketing idea but it was sad to see 3 hype words in one sentence "core", "3D" and "multi-core". Are they so desperate nowadays?

    The only thing that I didn't like from CL was that they somehow "throttled" the capabilities of old hardware via drivers...
  • -3 Hide
    rottingsheep , May 31, 2011 9:51 PM
    completely unnecessary. anything to make huge profits.
  • 3 Hide
    Yuka , May 31, 2011 9:55 PM
    Just don't do any "SE", "LE" crappy cards, PLEASE Creative, PLEASE.

    It has been a long time since anything new to the table, Creative, was about time. Kudos for the new design; let's see how it compares to the current X-FI I currently own.

    Cheers!
  • 6 Hide
    knowom , May 31, 2011 10:13 PM
    Wish Creative would make E-MU 1212M style Multi-Core Sound Processor for the DAW market.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , May 31, 2011 10:37 PM
    Finally something cool sounding that is not related to tablets or smartphones. Would be great on an HTPC.
  • 3 Hide
    ruga , May 31, 2011 10:56 PM
    Wish http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/ jumps right in to support it, so we don´t need creative´s buggy drivers
  • 6 Hide
    wannaturnuptheheat , May 31, 2011 11:10 PM
    I find it so cute that Creative is trying to keep soundcards relevant.
  • 3 Hide
    mediv42 , May 31, 2011 11:21 PM
    would love to see a double blind study on sound quality upgrading from a good, but 4 year old sound card to this new sound card, using the same speakers. I really doubt anyone could tell a difference. I doubt most people could even tell the difference using a ten year old sound card and the same speakers.
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