[sdiy] uLaw DACs in the modern era?

John Ames commodorejohn at gmail.com
Sun May 20 17:52:47 CEST 2018


On 5/20/18, rsdio at audiobanshee.com <rsdio at audiobanshee.com> wrote:
> Lots of industries, including the arcade game industry, leveraged the
> technology that came before, such as telecom. But in every case, 8-bit was
> the norm in the beginning, followed eventually by 16-bit and then 32-bit. It
> was a long time before 16-bit memory was available, but many synths still
> wired two 8-bit chips in parallel to get what was needed.
Sorta-kinda. 16-bit memory parts still aren't as common simply because
you can just set 8-bit parts in parallel (and most 16/32/64-bit CPUs
have "lane select" outputs to specifically accomodate this.) In fact,
lots of 8-bit systems used memories with single-bit word size and just
ganged those up. 8-bit audio standards had less to do with whether
16-bit was technically feasible and more to do with cost and part
availability; in fact, even a number of 32-bit computers used existing
8-bit parts, back when simply having audio capability on, say,
technical desktop workstations was a novelty - I've got a Sparcstation
2 and a VAXStation 4000/60 on my desk that both use 8-bit u-law
telephony parts for their audio (in fact, the VAX even has an ISDN
jack on the back instead of a 3.5mm TRS!)


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