Thursday, October 2, 2008

IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group To Present Standards-Based Audio Network Paper At 125th AES Convention

In what is a significant industry movement towards standards-based networking with quality and bandwidth capabilities appropriate for the demands of professional-grade audio production, Robert Boatright, Harman SDIG Director of Research, Harman International will join Matthew Xavier Mora, Software Engineer and Michael Johas Teener, Technical Director & Plumbing Architect, Broadcom Corp — all members of the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group — to present a paper on Standards-Based Audio Networks Using IEEE 802.1 AVB at the 125th AES Convention. The paper session will take place at the 125th AES Convention in San Francisco’s Moscone Centre on Thursday, October 2 from 11:00 am -1:00 pm and is open to registered conference goers and exhibitors.

The IEEE 802 working groups, a coalition of leading technology companies from professional audio and video, semiconductor, network computing and consumer electronics have been working on protocols to allow vendors to build a standards-based network with the appropriate quality of service for high quality audio performance and production. This new set of standards, developed by the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group, provides three major enhancements for 802-based networks:

1. Precise timing to support low-jitter media clocks and accurate synchronization of multiple streams,
2. A simple reservation protocol that allows an endpoint device to notify the various network elements in a path so that they can reserve the resources necessary to support a particular stream, and
3. Queuing and forwarding rules that ensure that such a stream will pass through the network within the delay specified by the reservation.

The enhancements enabled by IEEE 802.1 standards require no changes to the Ethernet lower layers and are compatible with all the other functions of a standard Ethernet switch (a device that follows the IEEE 802.1Q bridge specification). As a result, all of the rest of the Ethernet ecosystem is available to developers—in particular, the various high speed physical layers (up to 10 gigabit/sec in current standards, even higher speeds are in development), security features (encryption and authorization), and advanced management (remote testing and configuration) features can be used. This tutorial will outline the basic protocols and capabilities of AVB networks, describe how such a network can be used, and provide some simple demonstrations of network operation (including a live comparison with a legacy Ethernet network).

Welcoming a broad gathering of audio professionals attending AES to sign up for the tutorial, Boatright noted, “Reflecting the mission and philosophy of IEEE, the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group is committed to advancing scientific innovation and broad interoperability in much the same way that AES is committed to advancing audio engineering in all its forms. As such, this paper will present work driven by joint goals of innovation, integration and openness.”

Harman System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah, leads group-wide networking and integration R&D for Harman Professional. SDIG is responsible for Harman HiQnet™ connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications.

Harman International Industries, Incorporated (, designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. Harman International maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG®, Audioaccess®, Becker®, BSS®, Crown®, dbx®, DigiTech®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, Revel®, QNX®, Soundcraft® and Studer®. Harman International’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NYSE: HAR.

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