Designed for use in public venues such as retail stores, theme parks, and museums, the AmpTraXX amplifier can be programmed to create interactive sound environments, for example by causing volume on parabolic speakers to ramp up as visitors approach an exhibit or kiosk. On-the-fly adjustments to channel volume and filter settings are enabled by multiple dynamically reconfigurable AN221E04 FPAAs controlled by a microcontroller within the AmpTraXX intelligent amplifier.
With a simple set-up process using a Windows�-compatible GUI interface supplied with each unit, or using third-party outboard controllers, the AmpTraXX user can select among high-pass, low-pass, and band-pass filter types for each of the 16 channels, then set gain, cutoff frequency, and filter Q by adjusting sliders on the unit�s control panel. Settings are permanently stored in the AmpTraXX memory and later can be uploaded if changes are needed. The on-board FPAAs enable these filter types as well as a 1-kHz tone generator, which works on a channel-by-channel basis to simplify the task of speaker wiring. Each channel in the AmpTraXX intelligent amplifier provides 20 W of power for a total of 320 W, with an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio of 102 dB at 15 W into 8 Ohms.
Because independent filter configuration and parameter adjustments are provided for each channel, users can roll-off low frequencies when using parabolic speakers or boost base response for smaller, inefficient drivers, while eliminating the need for expensive EQ or DSP racks. This capability solves complex installation problems without the addition of expensive signal processing gear.
�To create the AmpTraXX intelligent amplifier, we initially started with a generic four-pole switched capacitor, which allowed us to implement a high-pass filter only, with no gain adjustment to speak of,� said Jim Carstensen, director of engineering at Alcorn McBride. �Then we learned about FPAAs, and we discovered that the Anadigm� device was not only more capable but less expensive, which reduced our costs and gave us a plethora of additional features as well.�
Anadigm� FPAAs are the first analog integrated circuits for audio that can change their parameters in real time or even undergo a complete state change. This process is virtually instantaneous and is therefore inaudible to the most experienced ear. The FPAAs used in the Alcorn McBride AmpTraXX application were initially configured using the AnadigmDesigner�2 CAD tool. Alcorn McBride then developed simple ASCI commands to work as the output from slider controls, which the microcontroller in turn uses to generate the configurable analog module (CAM) source code required by the FPAA.
�Working with the Anadigmvortex evaluation board, the design process was relatively instantaneous,� Carstensen added. �With the examples provided in the FPAA documentation and some help from Anadigm�s applications team, the development time for the AmpTraXX was one of the shortest design cycles we�ve ever experienced.�
�The AmpTraXX is a superb example of what an imaginative, innovative design team can achieve in the audio space using our programmable analog technology,� said Nathan John, vice president of worldwide marketing at Anadigm�. �We are delighted to be working with Alcorn McBride and salute their exceptional accomplishment with this new intelligent amplifier.�
Anadigm� offers a range of FPAA devices with pricing starting at $4.95.
About Alcorn McBride
Alcorn McBride designs and manufactures audio and video playback as well as show and lighting control systems. The company�s products are used in museums, retail stores, casinos, theme parks, visitor centers, themed restaurants, and transportation systems worldwide. For further information, visit http://www.alcorn.com.
Anadigm� brings platform-based design to the analog world with prequalified software and hardware components that allow complex analog circuits to be implemented in an analog equivalent to the FPGA. Designed to implement signal conditioning, filtering, data acquisition, closed-loop control, and other analog functions in a wide range of embedded systems, Anadigm� FPAAs are the first programmable analog ICs that can adapt on the fly to perform multiple functions, adjust to different environmental conditions, or compensate for aging equipment. Founded in January 2000 as a venture-backed technology spin-off from Motorola, Anadigm� maintains U.S. headquarters in Tempe, Ariz. and European headquarters in Crewe, UK. For further information, visit Anadigm� on the Web at http://www.anadigm.com.
AmpTraXX is a trademark of Alcorn McBride, Inc.
Anadigm� and AnadigmDesigner�2 are registered trademarks of Anadigm�. All other trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Phone: +1 (480) 344-5284
Vice President of Marketing
Phone: +1 (480) 344-5263
Wall Street Communications
Phone: +1 (775) 626-7722