Dev Kit Weekly: MiniDSP MCHStreamer Kit
November 18, 2022
If you’re not sure where to start in your USB audio journey, you’ve come to the right place, because this here is the MCHStreamer Kit, a multi-channel asynchronous USB interface prototyping platform that its creators at miniDSP call the USB Audio Swiss-Army Knife. The moniker comes from the fact that this compact 13 mm x 40 mm x 62 mm PCB not only contains a USB Audio Class 2-compliant Type B interface that carries 24 in and 24 out channels, it also has an optical T.O.S.Link port with rates from 44.1 to 176.4 kHz and supports 4- or 8-channel ADAT modes as well as an S/PDIF coax link. These combine to transport I2S, TDM8, PDM, DSD, ADAT, and S/PDIF audio data to and from PC, MAC, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.
But the magic happens here at the center of the kit, where the XMOS xCORE-200 USB interface chip performs efficient audio conversion between these various audio formats while ensuring quality sound reproduction with up to 4000 MIPS of compute performance. The xCORE-200 features a dual-issue pipeline architecture consisting of sixteen 32-bit cores connected by an on-chip “xCONNECT” switch that acts as a high-speed network, as well as up to 1024 KB of on-chip SRAM.
Of course, there’s also an integrated USB 2.0 PHY.
For you, the design engineer, this means the MCHStreamer can support audio conversion of:
- 24-bit S/PDIF samples up to 192kHz
- Up to 8-channels of bidirectional 24- or 32-bit I2S audio at 384 kHz
- 24 channels of bidirectional TDM8 data as high as 96 kHz
- Up to eight DSD64, 128, or 256 channels, or
- Sixteen 24-bit PDM audio recording channels at 48 kHz frequencies
You can even connect a MEMS microphone to each of those 16 PDM channels on the MCHStreamer kit then convert the signals to I2S to assist in beamforming algorithm development. There are also two 12-pin 2mm pitch expansion connectors you can use to connect additional prototyping hardware, and powering up the board couldn’t be easier – you just do so over USB (or using an external 5V 300 mA DC power supply via an external header.
But perhaps best of all, the kit includes a firmware package from miniDSP that makes all the above conversion completely plug and play. There’s also a miniDSP UAC2 Control Panel wizard you can use to configure the device settings.
With all that, designing your own custom USB Audio interface, multichannel DSD DAC, or MEMS audio interface just got a whole lot easier.
If you’re interested in acquiring one of these super flexible, versatile audio development kits for yourself, you’re in luck! You can purchase your own from miniDSP’s website for $115. Or you can enter the raffle below for a chance to win an MCHStreamer kit for free, and we’ll send it to our lucky winner anywhere in the world — we’ll even cover the shipping costs.