Gadgets

Broadcom says wireless home audio will be wicked cool with WICED

Above: Broadcom says WICED will make connecting wireless audio devices easy.

Image Credit: Broadcom

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Broadcom says that it will get much easier to stream high-definition audio over WiFi networks around the home thanks to a new technology dubbed WICED.

Broadcom will make chips that support the WICED Audio platform, and it is announcing a software development kit today that will make it a lot easier for gadget makers to create advanced wireless audio gadgets for the home. Broadcom is making the announcement at the 2014 International CES tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.

WICED stands for Broadcom’s Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices. It uses WiFi networking to stream HD audio over greater distances and without audio glitches. It features better synchronization of audio so that WiFi can deliver audio streams to multiple rooms in a home. It also supports Apple’s AirPlay protocol for streaming media from iOS devices.

That means you can stream from a WICED-compatible device and stream high-quality audio to wireless speakers in the home, using a WiFi network. You can do this without having to put your media player, such as an iPod, in a docking station or connect it with a cable. Home media devices can seamlessly connect to smart TVs, portable speakers, set-top boxes, and sound bars using the Digital Living Network Alliance standard or an advanced streaming application for Android.

“We have a general API to allow any audio equipment to be ported onto the WICED platform easily,” said Rahul Patel, vice president of product marketing at Broadcom, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Now, you’ll be able to move speakers to any place in the home wherever you like. You could stream from one location in the home to the furthest location, wirelessly.”

WICED can support 16-bit or 24-bit audio samples and multiple sample rates including 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz and 96 KHz.

Broadcom’s customers have announced a couple of WICED-compatible products like chips for garage door openers and washers and dryers. More products will be coming out in the first quarter, Patel said.


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