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Core 256 | The Tiny Immersive Audio Hero

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Core 256
NEWS
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18-04-2022 kl. 10:46
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The Tiny IMMERSIVE AUDIO Hero

Massive Flexibility. Small Footprint. Immersive Power.


Core 256 may not take up much space, but the power you can squeeze out of this little box might just make your jaw drop to the floor. With tons of channels, a wide palette of digital connectivity, built-in SPQ processing, Eucon control compatibility, internal summing engine and drivers for macOS and Windows 10, it is a pristine digital audio interface by any measure and for just about any application.

However, there is one application that should be emphasized in particular: Core 256 is simply the perfect Dante and MADI interface for Dolby Atmos® RMU.

The size and shape of Core 256 fits nicely for sharing a 1U rack shelf with a Mac Mini running Dolby Atmos® Renderer, Dolby Atmos® Production Suite or Dolby Atmos® Mastering Suite. For immersive audio post production facilities, this solution will represent the missing link that  streamlines and optimizes the multichannel workflows seamlessly. 

Block diagram Core 256


Overview

• 720 Input and Output Channels
• Digital Router and Monitoring Interface
• Thunderbolt 3 I/O (256 Ch.)
• Dante AoIP I/O (256 Ch.)
• MADI BNC I/O (64 Ch.)
• MADI SFP I/O module option (128 ch.)
• ADAT dual TosLink I/O (16 Ch.)
• 512x64 ch. Pro|Mon Summing and Speaker EQ Processing





The Ultimate Digital Bridge

Thunder Core 256 elements

Even though it is a tiny Dolby Atmos® hero, Core 256 is of course ready to take on a  wealth of other tasks in the Post Production, Studio and Installed Audio spheres.

With Dante, MADI and  ADAT ports onboard and versatile and flexible DADman  routing control available, it is also a stellar D/D converter that can grab any digital audio channel –  convert it if needed – and route it anywhere.


Another application would be as a dedicated audio interface for your DAW. Whether you run Pro Tools,  Logic Pro, Nuendo, Cubase, Ableton Live,  Digital Performer or any other DAW, Core 256 is your super low-latency entrance. 

And with the ADAT, MADI  and Dante connectivity, you can easily add analog preamps or insert points to the mix.





19” Rack Mount Bracket

Core 256 can be mounted in a 19” rack using the special DAD bracket, which has a shelf and mounting system for an Apple Mac Mini computer, which once again plays right into the immersive Dolby Atmos® application.

Quite simply, this mounting system provides a powerful – yet compact -  audio solution, combining the computer and the Core 256 audio interface on a single sleek shelf.

Core 256 macmini

Features

The basic I/O configuration for the Core 256 interface is:

• 2 Thunderbolt 3 Ports (each w. 15W power)
• 256 Bidirectional Channels at 48 & 96 kHz
• ASIO / Core Audio Thunderbolt PCIe drivers
• MADI/BNC-Optional 2 x SFP/BNC MADI
• ADAT /Litepipe (16 Ch.)
• DANTE: 256 Ch. at 48 kHz, 128 Ch. at 96 kHz, 64 Ch. at 192 kHz (IP Core)
• WC I/O
• SPQ: 64 Ch. with 16 Filters
• Pro|Mon Support
• Summing Processor 64 Output / 512 Input Busses
• Internal Router: 1500 x 1500
• 32bit Floating Point Processing
• Avid Eucon Enabled Devices via DADman
• APPLE Silicon M1 and Intel Compatible Software
• Control via Ethernet or Thunderbolt Connection
• 12V DC External Power (Max 60W)
• ½ Rack Unit 1U Height

Further, the mini module slot can be mounted with  an optional dual bidirectional MADI module with optical SFP or mini coax connectors.


DADman core 256

Control

The Thunder|Core Audio interface is controlled via the DADman software. DADman can connect to the Thunder|Core interface either via Ethernet or via a communication channel in the Thunderbolt connection. 

More units can be daisy chained via the Thunderbolt ports, and each  unit will appear in DADman control software. 

Using control over Ethernet the two RJ45 connectors acts as a switch for connection to  more units. The Dante /AES67 audio is also passed on the two  RJ45 connectors.



Thunder | Core Technology 

Thunderbolt-portsThe DAD Thunder |Core Technology provides a Thunderbolt 3 connection with near-zero latency for interfacing between audio applications on macOS or Windows computers and the Thunder|Core audio hardware.

The interface provides a fast Thunderbolt 3/PCIe connection and data transfer with 2 samples latency on the connection and a total of 9 samples in the digital  interface, as total also includes EQ and summing processing within the unit. 

The channel capacity is up to 256 audio channels at 48 and 96 kHz, and the latency at 96kHz is 95 microseconds. The total round-trip latency with an audio software application will depend on the buffer size set for the application. With a  buffer size of 32 samples, the latency is 670 microseconds at 96 kHz.


Key Specifications

• 2 x Thunderbolt 3 Ports w. 15W Power Source Each
• 256 Bidirectional Channels at 44.1/48 kHz
• 256 Channels at 88.2/96 kHz
• 128 Channels at 176.4/192 kHz
• 64 Channels at 352.8/384kHz


Control Connection for DADman 

• The Core Audio Thunder|Core Audio Driver
• Compatible with Intel and Apple Silicon (M1) processors, as well as Big Sur macOS and forward
• Core Audio Aggregates for More Applications I/O Control Connection for DADman

• ASIO Thunder|Core Audio Driver  Compatible with Windows 10 and forward
• One Application Can Connect to the Driver
• Control Connection for DADman 

Core 256 front angle

Functionality

The Thunder | Core products have been designed with a unique router core based on 32bit floating point processing and a low-latency and highly reliable FPGA based matrix structure. A timestamp mechanism provides equal latency for all signals routed through the core.

In total, Core 256 has a capacity of 4,096x4,096 non-blocking cross points, which provides a capacity of 1,500x1,500 cross points on the I/O and processing  level.

The matrix provides fixed latency routing of all inputs to one or more outputs with a latency of only 5 audio samples and supports sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz.

The channel processor provides a signal  detection logic for all input and output channels, PPM level measurement as well as level control.

All inputs and outputs have processing for level adjustment and in addition, the core has a summing/mixing processer with 64 output busses and 512 inputs, which can be  allocated to sets of input and output signals managed by the  Pro|Mon monitor control functionality in DADman. 

SPQ speaker EQ management is available natively in the core with access to 1,024 filters combined into 64 channels with 16 filters, each with adjustable  delay.   

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ntp-icon-2 NTP Technology | Nybrovej 99 | 2820 Gentofte | Denmark |
Phone (+45) 45 96 88 80 | Fax (+45) 44 53 11 70 | Email: info@ntp.dk

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