Oxford Semiconductor Ltd. — the company that manufactures the FireWire bridge chips used in most external FireWire hard drives and optical storage hardware — said it will use this week’s
Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Calif. to demonstrate a new firewire chip that provides up to eight digital audio outputs.
The new chip — dubbed the OXFW970 — provides the ability to create high quality surround sound systems for both PCs and Macs using either FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 connections. Oxford Semiconductor hopes that music hardware makers will use the new chip to produce systems as an alternative to USB-based multi-channel audio products.
The new audio controller can receive and process 32-bit audio data sampled at up to 48kHz at a streaming speed up to 100MB/s, according to the company. What’s more, FireWire’s ability to carry power across the bus means that such speaker systems possibly wouldn’t need external power supplies, according to the company.
Look for Oxford Semiconductor in booth 1643. Macworld Conference & Expo runs January 5 – 9, 2004 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco; exhibits are open January 6 – 9.