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After XMOS, Amanero: ESS now has an USB chip

Veri

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#1
Just something intriguing, ESS now has its own USB bridge, the 'ES8620' chip. Gustard was quick to make a device built on it, released in late September.

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gusta...512-dop-and-native-dsd-digital-interface.html



I don't believe digital has a 'sound flavor', but would be cool if we'd possibly see new devices in the future shift away from XMOS, at least in the higher-end market. Maybe.
 
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Killingbeans

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#2
Looks like Amanero will soon be a thing of the past? Or maybe just get a pig-headed following, who claims that Atmel + Xilinx is the only true path to audio nirvana, because... reasons :D

It's nice to see a bigger shift towards dedicated hardware rather than firmware based solutions, although I suspect that most audiophile ears could be perfectly satisfied by a cheap chip from Silicon Labs.

On a side note: Am I the only one who find it silly that this Gustard product has a "Built-in audio dedicated toroidal transformer"?
 

Veri

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#5
I think it's interesting there will be so many solutions for USB... could be this is all just a way to make our older products feel 'outdated' and keep that upgradeitis alive :)
 

Killingbeans

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#6
could be this is all just a way to make our older products feel 'outdated' and keep that upgradeitis alive :)
If you tell the neighbor about the tiny amount of noise and distortion in your stereo, he probably won't even raise an eyebrow. But if you tell him, that your bitrate is bigger than his, he's guaranteed to get blue in the face :D
 

Kyle / MrHeeHo

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#7
I think it's interesting there will be so many solutions for USB... could be this is all just a way to make our older products feel 'outdated' and keep that upgradeitis alive :)
I think it's a classic case of everyone wanting their own solution instead of sticking to a standard, which sucks because not all devices will be compatible, video game consoles especially.
 

duo8

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#8
I don't see anything wrong with XMOS. Or with controllers having a customizable firmware. Or even with software defined solutions (though the ones I've used do suck).
 

Superdad

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#10
Other than being a PITA to program. The architecture is bizarre, to say the least.
True dat! But at least there is a full programming environment for it. What is the likelihood that such will exist for the ESS chip? Here is how I see it at the moment:
a) ESS has not formally announced the existence of the ES8620S chip ANYWHERE! Google it and see. No press release, nothing. Custard's (crap, autocorrect just won't let me spell that with a 'G') use of it is presently the ONLY mention it.

b) Is ESS going to do their usual mystery thing and not only make it difficult to get documents and datasheets, but also to be opaque about certain elements of it--just as with their DAC chips?

c) And most importantly, what sort of resources and commitment do they have to producing and maintaining drivers for all major operating systems? And how with those be licensed and distributed? Do they even have any experience in that area? At least Thesycon keeps their drivers up for XMOS well and has a proper program to administer licensing through the XMOS distributors.
 

mansr

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#11
a) ESS has not formally announced the existence of the ES8620S chip ANYWHERE! Google it and see. No press release, nothing. Custard's (crap, autocorrect just won't let me spell that with a 'G') use of it is presently the ONLY mention it.
So I've noticed. It's kind of odd to see a chip in a shipping product before the manufacturer has so much as hinted at its existence. Also interesting that the chip in the photo doesn't have the ESS logo on it. This could indicate that it comes from an early test batch. Of course, the photo might not reflect what's in the shipping units.

b) Is ESS going to do their usual mystery thing and not only make it difficult to get documents and datasheets, but also to be opaque about certain elements of it--just as with their DAC chips?
I'm certain of it. Why would they their ways change now?

c) And most importantly, what sort of resources and commitment do they have to producing and maintaining drivers for all major operating systems? And how with those be licensed and distributed? Do they even have any experience in that area? At least Thesycon keeps their drivers up for XMOS well and has a proper program to administer licensing through the XMOS distributors.
If it is USB audio class compliant, that's less of an issue.
 

gvl

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#12
It's only a matter of time until ESS DAC chips will take USB input directly.
 

Superdad

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#13
It's only a matter of time until ESS DAC chips will take USB input directly.
There are at least 10 reasons why doing that would be a supremely bad idea. #1 is that putting the nasty PHY (with its multiple PLLs and overlapping phase clocks, etc.) in with the DAC chip is completely undesirable.
Top-quality USB DACs put full digital isolators (and then reclocking flip-flops) on the I2S lines between the USB processor and the DAC chip.
 

Superdad

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#14
Someone on the other forum reported this:

"I wrote them [ESS] an e-mail and got following reply:"
--------
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your mail. We are aware that a particular customer in China is using the ES8620 in a new DAC.
This device was originally designed for Soundbar applications and has been non-preferred for new designs for several years.
We do not recommend this device for new designs and we are not supporting it here in Europe.
Sincerely,
David B*****

-------

WOW! That also may explain why my phone inquiry messages to their California headquarters(?) did not get returned and why there are zero references to the chip anywhere in the world other than with regards to Gustard's use of it.
 

yummy

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#18
bud, there's a thing called OEM, you could name the chip to wahtever your liking

and ess is famous for NDA, and ess boss is one of biggest X-files fans, his personal solgan is Deny Everything

you should loose and extent your mileage to the real actual world..
 
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