Intel Releases Final High-Def Audio Spec

From Intel’s press release:

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 (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* 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.

Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Computing

Intel Command Center lays foundation for next year’s ‘Arctic Sound’ GPU

Intel revealed its new Command Center driver software at GDC 2019. The updated interface will control current Intel integrated graphics and also lays the groundwork for next year's Intel video card.
Product Review

The Lenovo Legion Y740 brings RTX 2080 graphics power for under $2,500

Coming with the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, the Legion Y740 one big beast. But priced at under $2,500 how does Lenovo’s Legion stand up against the crowd?
Computing

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…