Intel has released the final version of its High Definition Audio 1.0 specification, the successor to the AC 97 PC audio standard.
Formerly codenamed 'Azalia', HD Audio was officially given its new name Intel's Spring Developer Conference last February.
HD Audio takes the PC's sound support beyond CD quality to 32-bit quantisation and a 192kHz sample rate. It also brings in 7.1 multi-channel support, and scope to reassign sound ports' roles - input or output - on the fly.
Intel will add HD Audio support to its 'Grantsdale' Pentium 4 desktop chipset, due later this quarter, and to 'Alviso', next autumn's 'Centrino 2' chipset. Both use Intel's ICH6 South Bridge part, which incorporates HD Audio.
Microsoft will provide HD Audio drivers courtesy of its Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) initiative, which unifies on-board sound systems with USB and 1394/Firewire audio sub-systems. UAA is also intended to bring a similar level of sound quality across devices, from PCs to PDAs and Wintel-based consumer electronics kit. ®