Nordic-powered Module enables Low-latency Audio over BLE

Published  October 5, 2023   0
S Staff
Wireless Audio Technology

Virscient, a New Zealand-based company, has introduced a cutting-edge wireless audio technology that facilitates live performance and gaming applications featuring exceptionally low-latency audio over low-power wireless connections. This innovation, known as the "LiveOnAir" module, is specifically tailored to address the demands of professional live performances and integrates Nordic Semiconductor's nRF5340 high-end multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC). It accommodates various use cases, including digital wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, gaming headsets, and situations where minimal latency and top-notch audio quality are imperative for optimal user experiences. What sets the LiveOnAir module apart is its ability to empower original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to swiftly develop high-performance wireless audio solutions while keeping costs in check.

The "LiveOnAir" module caters to a range of "real-time" audio applications where traditional wireless connections might have introduced undesirable delays compared to their wired counterparts. Jonny McClintock, the Commercial Director at Virscient, highlights that in live performance scenarios, latency can create a disconnect between the performer and the performance, leading to poorly synchronized audio with real-time events. Similarly, in gaming applications, low latency and superior audio quality are pivotal for gaining a competitive edge. Delays can significantly hamper a gamer's ability to respond effectively to their in-game environment.

This innovative solution encompasses a software transport system that can adapt to various topologies, codecs (compression/decompression algorithms), and RF (radio frequency) options, allowing for fine-tuning to meet the specific requirements of different use cases. When paired with the nRF5340 SoC, this software operates over Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) connectivity, delivering mono or stereo audio with an end-to-end latency of less than 5 milliseconds. The nRF5340 SoC boasts dual Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors, comprising a high-performance application processor and an ultra-low-power network processor that can be fully programmed. This feature makes it an ideal choice for LE Audio applications. For low-power digital microphone applications, Virscient offers a comprehensive hardware and software reference design also based on the nRF5340 SoC.