Monday, August 13, 2012

dCS Vivaldi Technical Overview

Vivaldi Upsampler
Accesses music from any digital source and converts the audio from its native sample rate to either high resolution DXD (24 bit data at 352.8 or 384 kS/s), DSD (1 bit data at 2.822 MS/s) or standard high resolution PCM (24 bit data up to 192 kS/s).

Network connectivity to stream high resolution audio files stored on a computer or on network storage via UPnP™. Asynchronous USB input also allows direct connection of a PC, supporting high resolution audio up to and including 192kS/s and DSD over USB.

Apple™ authenticated and supports playback of iPod/iPhone  stored digital  media, bypassing the internal DAC to ensure optimal performance.

An array of independently selectable digital inputs and filter options elevates the performance of Red Book CD from CD Players or high resolution audio from digital streamers and servers to a previously unsurpassed level.

Vivaldi DAC
Features standard digital inputs in addition to an asynchronous USB interface. The enhanced digital volume control allows direct connection to a power amplifier so that in the majority of systems there is no  need for a separate preamplifier. Maximum output can be set at either two or six volts to suit different amplifier and speaker combinations.

Featuring the latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform designed to handle all high resolution musical form ats up to DXD (24 bit data at 352.8 and 384kS/s) plus DSD, The optimised DSP filters available will ensure you can extract every last nuance of musical detail and feeling while tuning the system to suit your personal preference.

Utilises the latest generation of our state of the art dCS Ring DAC™ that delivers enhanced dynamic range, reduced jitter, improved channel separation and greatly improved musical realism.

Vivaldi Master Clock
A powerful yet simple to use Grade 1 master clock. Featuring two banks  of clock outputs capable of outputting different frequencies, the new auto clocking mode in Vivaldi improves ease of use and minimizes jitter.

Used as part of the Vivaldi digital audio playback system it improves on an already spectacular sound and takes it into an entirely new domain. Images snap into sharper focus and the music displays a substantially greater sense of authority and power as well as, most importantly, offering noticeably higher resolution of detail.

Vivaldi Transport
Extracts revelatory levels of detail from both CD and SACD. All signal processing is controlled by electronics designed by dCS and it uses the TEAC Esoteric VRDS Neo™ mechanism which provides a brushless motor with heavy flywheel for stable disc rotation and super rigid construction.

Features a Dual AES output that supports dCS-encrypted DSD to a dCS DAC from CD or SACD. Also offers the option of upsampling CD data to DXD.

Digital Processing Platform
The dCS Vivaldi range features a number of exciting  new technology developments from dCS with one of the biggest being a complete redesign of our powerful digital processing platform. This platform is based around Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chips and a microcontroller system. All of these run code developed and maintained by dCS.

The two FPGAs used in previous generation of processing platform have been replaced in Vivaldi by a single device with more than twice their capacity combined. The FPGA  features 100,000 Configurable Logic Blocks (CLBs), higher operating speed,  and a more flexible infrastructure. We have taken advantage of the hugely increased capacity of this FPGA to stream-line inter processor communications, greatly increasing the maximum processing capacity of the system.

Other major enhancements are increased flash memory size, FPGA RAM,  and additional parallel interfaces to the DSPs, all of which improve the capacity, flexibility, speed of data transfer and performance of the platform.

Our  PCM interface and Phase Locked Loop (PLL) circuitry are essentially discrete, and this means our hardware is completely controlled and reconfigurable by software. The latest version of our Digital Processing  Platform  features an enhanced PLL system where  we have greatly improved the linearity of the Phase detector circuit, allowing us to put more gain around the PLL for further improved jitter performance.

We have also taken the opportunity to enhance and improve our clock distribution system to provide greater flexibility and integrity in complex-clocked systems.

The overall result of these enhancements is much cleaner and consistent clocking, streamlined inter-platform connectivity, and much lower jitter.

dCS Ring DAC™
The legendary dCS Ring DAC™  combines exceptional linearity with very high speed operation. It is designed like no other DAC and has been instrumental in  our pioneering efforts to develop high resolution audio at very high sample rates. The new Ring DAC™ used in Vivaldi has been completely redesigned to take advantage of new technologies.

The excellent channel separation delivered by previous versions was due  in part  to the balanced architecture and the “Dual Mono” design of the board. The new  Ring DAC design takes this approach even further.

Enhanced Ring DAC Core
All previous generations of the Ring DAC core consisted of high-speed quad latches and metal-film resistors. The new Ring DAC uses individual latch chips to  eliminate  on-chip crosstalk between latches and improve jitter.  Additionally, the total number of latches has increased to  make better use of the available Ring DAC dynamic range.

Twin Reference Generators
The ultra-low impedance, low-noise reference generator has been replaced by a separate lower noise generator for each channel, reducing co-channel interaction at this super-critical point in the chain.

Analogue Circuitry
Further improvements to the analogue circuitry include redesigned gain switching for better consistency between 2v and 6V settings and higher precision servo circuitry to reduce DC offsets even further.  Analogue stages and circuit board layout have been optimized for yet lower noise and further improved crosstalk.

Performance Enhancements
The Ring DAC mapping ROMs have been replaced by a pair of high-speed FPGAs. These are programmed from flash memory each time the DAC powers up, so that performance improvements or new Ring DAC operating modes can be added by a software update.