Back to Their Roots: Creative Launches Multi-Core Audio Chip

Creative Labs decided to reignite its core business with the launch of a new multi-core audio processor. Under the name Sound Core3D, the company is launching a product for desktop and notebook computers, as well as consumer electronics such as PC-embedded TV sets, Set-Top boxes and HTPCs.

Sound Core3D features Quartet SIMD processor featuring four independent cores that operate on what Creative calls TIMD (Thread Interleaved Multiple Data). Unlike the original X-Fi and its multi-threaded single-core approach, this time we’re talking about quad-core approach. Computational power went from 1.2 GFLOPS to around 5 GFLOPS.

Sound-wise, the chip brings an impressive feature set: sexa-channel 24-bit 102dB D/A converter, quad-channel 24-bit 101dB A/D converter, amplified headphone out, digital microphone interface as well as S/PDIF inputs and outputs. There is also support for industry standard inputs and outputs such as 3.5"mm jacks.

On the software side, the chip is certified by Dolby Laboratories (Dolby Digital Decode) and THX (TruStudio Pro), as well as audio/video communication through CrystalVoice VoIP service.

According to Steve Erickson, VP and GM of Audio and Video Products at Creative Labs Inc., the company "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. With Sound Core3D we deliver a versatile chip that can deliver the highest performance voice processing and audio playback from a single chip."

According to the sources, GigaByte is the first motherboard maker to implement the technology, followed by MSI.