Newark Element14 and Wolfson have launched an HD-ready Wolfson Audio Card for the Raspberry Pi with 192kHz sampling, MEMS mics, and I/O including S/PDIF.
The Wolfson Audio Card extends and enhances the Linux-ready Raspberry Pi’s audio features beyond its native HDMI output with onboard HD audio and a variety of interfaces. Raspberry Pi manufacturer Premier Farnell has the exclusive contract for the add-on, and is distributing it through its subsidiaries, including Newark Element14 in North America, Farnell Element14 in Europe, CPC in the UK, and Element14 in Asia Pacific. The Wolfson Audio Card sells for $33.62 and works with Raspberry Pi Rev2 Model A or B single board computers that include P5 pads for connecting the daughtercard.
Wolfson Audio Card
The Wolfson Audio Card incorporates Wolfson’s WM5102 audio hub chip, which offers a 192kHz sample rate, 8-channel input, and other HD audio components. Together with the audio I/O and digital MEMs microphones, the chip enables a voice controlled wireless home media network capable of running 24-bit “better than CD quality” playback, says Wolfson Microelectronics.
Wolfson Audio Card detail
The Wolfson Audio Card adds the following key hardware components:
- 3.5mm stereo line-in (for digital audio players and mobile phones)
- 3.5mm stereo line-out (for connecting external stereo amplifiers or powered speakers)
- 3.5mm 4-pole jack (for a headset/boom mic combination for gaming or VoIP)
- 3.5mm mic input (for microphones)
- S/PDIF input
- S/PDIF output
- Speaker outputs (left and right) with Wolfson WM8804 transceiver
- 2x WM7220 Wolfson digital MEMS microphones
- Small pin header for extra function expansion (if they are low cost, already on-chip, and don’t require further components)
- Class D power amplifier for external speakers (with connection to external power source if needed)
- Pins to connect card to RaspPi via P5 pad
Pi with Wolfson card attached
The WM5102 chip is available in a wide variety of smartphones, tablets, and other portable audio devices, and is already supported by hundreds of applications, says Wolfson. The company is said to have shipped more than two billion audio chips, which are featured in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy line of mobile devices.
With the widespread use of Wolfson’s WM5102 chip, numerous applications are said to support four key features that are now enabled on the Raspberry Pi:
- Play — Play back HD audio files on the Raspberry Pi
- Talk — Build a VoIP conference phone for the PI by hooking up a boom microphone and headset to make hands-free calls
- Record — Record HD audio using any of the microphones or line-in ports, and voice activate projects
- Share — Connect the Pi to the cloud services to stream music around the house, and develop and play multiplayer online games that allow in-game audio via a gaming headset
Wolfson WM5102 audio hub block diagram
(click image to enlarge)
“With the Audio Card, Wolfson is delighted to provide a new accessory that opens up a whole new world of applications to the Pi community,” stated Alistair Banham, Senior VP & GM of Custom Solutions at Wolfson Microelectronics. “Working with Newark element14 has given Wolfson the opportunity to bring more high quality audio to the Raspberry Pi and enable developers, students and hobbyists to experience great audio quality when developing applications.”
The Wolfson Audio Card is available for $33.62 exclusively from Newark Element14 in North America, Farnell Element14 in Europe, CPC in the UK, and Element14 in Asia Pacific. Through the end of the year, Wolfson Microelectronics and Newark Element14 are also providing five “studio master quality music downloads” from HDtracks, offering 96kHz/24-bit quality. More information may be found at Newark Element14’s Wolfson Audio Card order page and Wolfson Audio Card datasheet (PDF), as well as at Element14’s Wolfson Audio Card community page. More on the WM5102 may be found at Wolfson’s WM5102 page.