How commercial mp3 players are made?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by msr, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. msr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    62
    1
    Hi guys,

    I opened an mp3 player I have to have a clue of how its made, I mean, what components and electronic parts designers used. In particular I was looking for what microcontroller they had used. However I found none! The bigger two ICs have these "signatures": SIGMATEL and HYNIX.

    I googled a little bit and I think the first one is an audio codec (mp3 decoder?) and the second one is the 2GB memory. So, where is the processor and all the "control" part? Could the Hynix IC be used as an ASIC/FPGA?

    Sometime ago I have also opened an FM transmitter I have. I didn't search as much as I did for this mp3 player, but I also found only a Hynix IC. Just memory, once again. So, where is made all the control/programmable part?

    The mp3 Player is from MEMUP and the FM transmitter is from INGO.


    Thanks!
     
  2. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
    234
    The sigmatel (Bought out by Freescale Semiconductors in 2008) IC does all the decoding and playback of the MP3 files.... the HYNIX IC's are Flash memory, this is where all the MP3 files and data is stored....

    B. Morse
     
  3. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
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    Exactly that. The sigmatel handles all of the file read/write, decoding, and user interfacing.

    Once MP3 players became popular, it was only a matter of time before IC manufactures scurried around to make an INTEGRATED circuit to do it all.

    Supply and demand.
     
  4. msr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    62
    1
    Awesome. So, the Sigmatel IC is also responsible for the GUI of mp3 player?

    Thanks for the hints!
     
  5. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
    234

    Yes, it also takes care of that....
     
  6. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    So its basically a special made MCU/audio decoder chip specifically made for MP3 players? Also do many mp3 players use purpose build MCU's with external decoders or are those a thing of the past?
     
  7. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    2,613
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    You really need a DSP to decode MP3's. Yes, you could write one with a MCU which could probably do the job, but it's cheaper to use a dedicated audio codec, and it's a bonus when that codec chip includes a CPU, display driver, and inputs to run your interface on.
     
  8. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
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    well, if you are going to use the uc to decode and playback the MP3, yes a dsp would be nice, but if using a MP3 Decoder IC, you can actually do it with pretty much any uc you want as long as it has the speed to keep feeding the mp3 decoder data when it needs it... here is an example using the STA013 MP3 decoder IC....

    You can take say a Pic32, with an SD card interface and USB on the Go and use that to read MP3 file data from those devices and feed it to the decoder via I2C or SPI.... plus the PIC32 has a PMP bus that can control a color graphic LCD with touch screen.... that would be a whole player right there....

    this particular example uses the 8051....
    http://www.pjrc.com/mp3/sta013.html

    B. Morse
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  9. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    2,613
    214
    PIC32's are pricey. You might be able to get away with a dsPIC, but still, they're pricey chips. That's why MP3 players often use a dedicated system-on-a-chip. You can also expect to find external flash memory because it lets manufacturers produce the 4 GB and 8 GB (or whatever) versions for only a few dollars more in costs...

    Certain dsPICs are marketed as graphics processors which is interesting. Full colour 96 KB graphics RAM. Hardware accelerated blitting, erasing and filling. Wow.
     
  10. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,648
    2,348
    Hello,

    Amtel also makes a chip for the MP3 player.
    See the datasheet for more info.

    Bertus
     
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