Noob question... DAC vs CODEC? (ref to XMOS) - diyAudio
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Old 18th January 2012, 04:18 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Noob question... DAC vs CODEC? (ref to XMOS)

I am looking at the XMOS USB Audio Reference Design topology and it basically goes like this.

USB Interface ---> XMOS CHIP <--i2s-->CODEC Chip <----> Anlalogue Audio In/Out

XMOS Chip ---> SPDIF

so the XMOS Chip outputs to SPDIF and I2S to the CODEC Chip.

My question is... what is the role of the CODEC chip? Does the XMOS need the CODEC chip to output to SPDIF?

From what I gather the CODEC chip is used to convert I2S data to stereo analogue OUT and analogue stereo IN to I2S data and that's all.... am I correct?

Or does it do some encoding decoding from the data that is being taken into the USB and is using the CODEC chip to output proper SPDIF data?

I dont really care about getting an analogue input to the XMOS chip so is this codec Unecessary? Can I just use an I2S DAC or an SPDIF DAC?

what's better I2S Dac or SPDIF Dac? (in terms of higher end audio quality)

Thanks guys,
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Old 19th January 2012, 04:07 PM   #2
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ottawa, Canada
"CODEC" stands for "COder/DECoder". In this case, it is another word for a ADC/DAC chip. So you were right, all it does is analog-digital conversions. Often we think of a "codec" as being an algorithm for audio or video compression/decompression like MP3 or H.264, etc., but that is a very different use of the same term.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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thank you!

It confirms my own reasoning, I like confirming things
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