Re: [uCsimm] MP3's

From: Carlos Betancourt (carlos.betancourt@chello.be)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 18:22:52 EDT


Michael J. Graffam wrote:
> Going with a decoder chip would have been death in the long-term. When
> MPEG audio layer 4 takes over, hardwired decoder chip solutions will
> be obsolete.
>
How difficult would it be to design an MPEG decoder on a FPGA ? Are they
powerful enough? In case they are, when a new format arrives we would just
have to upgrade the FPGA's firmware to process the new MPEG decoder
algoritm.

> Such generality requires a programmable chip. Going with a Pentium-class
> CPU, and Linux is a good choice because by the time some new music
> format is popular enough to warrant an official upgrade, chances are
> that some hacker will have coded a player and released it GPL.
>
Sure, the programmable option is the path to follow if we don't want
obsolecense, but a Pentium-class CPU based design is neither cost effective
to produce (although a cheaper/faster prototyping system), nor embedded
enough to fit a small case with low power requirements. Maybe with
Transmeta-like arquitectures it would be the way to go. Meanwhile a
Microcontroller+DSP+ucLinux design is a very interesting desing; although
not for the faint of heart, of course.

Carlos Betancourt

P.D. There is already a McController+DSP based design already online, but
it's not based on ucLinux.
For details: Pocket-Sized MP3 player -
http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~elm/reports/mpc/report_e.html

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