Intel turned up the volume for consumer electronics (CE)-quality audio on the
PC today by releasing the final v1.0 specification for Intel® High Definition
Audio. The HD Audio specification will provide an enriched playback experience
as well as deliver better-quality input for voice and communication
applications. This enablement of higher-quality audio is attributed in part to
an upgraded architecture and increased bandwidth that allows for 192 kHz,
32-bit, multi-channel audio. Audio input is enhanced with increased support for
multi-channel array microphones, dynamically allocated bandwidth, and audio
device configuration flexibility.

The HD Audio architecture is aligned with Microsoft’s Universal Audio
Architecture(1) (UAA), and engineers from both companies have been working
together closely on specification development. The Microsoft Universal Audio
Architecture Initiative aims to create and maintain Windows(1) audio class
drivers for High Definition Audio, USB audio and 1394 audio technologies.
Intel’s HD Audio architecture is designed on the same cost-sensitive principles
as AC’97 and will allow for an improved audio usage and stability level for
onboard PC audio devices. Systems with HD Audio capabilities, which include
those with Intel’s next-generation chipset codenamed Grantsdale, are expected to
appear in the market later this year.

Intel turned up the volume for consumer electronics (CE)-quality audio on the
PC today by releasing the final v1.0 specification for Intel® High Definition
Audio. Expected to replace the aging AC’97 specification developed nearly a
decade ago, the High Definition Audio (HD Audio) specification ushers in a new
era of sound quality on mainstream and performance PCs, paving the way for broad
adoption of next-generation audio. The HD Audio specification is designed to
implement a broader range of audio, modem and communications functionalities in
PCs, handhelds and CE devices.

More than 80 participating companies, including PC and CE manufacturers, codec
vendors, software providers and other industry leaders have teamed with Intel to
develop the HD Audio v.1.0 specification. This industry group has worked to
enable the vision of a flexible, dynamic, cost-effective and stable audio
architecture with performance headroom for future expansion.

"The PC will play a vital role in the explosion of home theater and advanced
audio solutions," said Thomas Loza, Intel technology initiatives manager. "The
PC platform remains a versatile solution for the media applications consumers
are demanding today and High Definition Audio capabilities will propel the PC to
truly top-notch audio performance."

The HD Audio specification will provide an enriched playback experience as well
as deliver better-quality input for voice and communication applications. This
enablement of higher-quality audio is attributed in part to an upgraded
architecture and increased bandwidth that allows for 192 kHz, 32-bit,
multi-channel audio. Audio input is enhanced with increased support for
multi-channel array microphones, dynamically allocated bandwidth, and audio
device configuration flexibility.

The HD Audio architecture is aligned with Microsoft’s Universal Audio
Architecture(1) (UAA), and engineers from both companies have been working
together closely on specification development. The Microsoft Universal Audio
Architecture Initiative aims to create and maintain Windows(1) audio class
drivers for High Definition Audio, USB audio and 1394 audio technologies.

"With the goal of improving the PC audio experience, Intel’s next generation
High Definition Audio combined with Microsoft’s Universal Audio Architecture
class driver will allow for a greatly improved user experience, new and exciting
usage scenarios, and vastly better audio fidelity for users of Windows operating
systems," said Jason Reindorp, group product manager, Windows Digital Media
Division, Microsoft Corporation. "Microsoft is working closely with Intel and
other industry leaders to ensure that the UAA initiative delivers on this
promise."

Intel’s HD Audio architecture is designed on the same cost-sensitive principles
as AC’97 and will allow for an improved audio usage and stability level for
onboard PC audio devices. Systems with HD Audio capabilities, which include
those with Intel’s next-generation chipset codenamed Grantsdale, are expected to
appear in the market later this year.