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I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it myself on a laptop in the Cadence booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year. Through a great innovation by our partner Dolby, you can now get surround sound on your laptop!
You’ve probably been in a movie theater with Dolby’s latest innovation—Dolby Atmos. And maybe you’ve purchased a television in the last year with Dolby Atmos (it was a huge sensation at last year's CES). Now, finally, Dolby Atmos sound is available in PCs and laptops—and if you watch movies on your laptop, you’re going to want to get a Dolby Atmos-enabled laptop!
What is Dolby Atmos? First, you need to understand traditional surround sound, which confines all sounds to a small set of channels that can deliver sound to you from only a few perceived angles—that’s why you need speakers for each direction, and the speaker placement is very important. Regular surround sound cannot put sound above you. Also, according to Dolby “sounds exist only as a part of a channel mix. If one sound is emphasized in a traditional mix, another must be diminished.”
Dolby Atmos frees sound from channels, using a concept involving audio objects that completely changes how soundtracks are created and heard. These audio objects can be precisely placed and moved by a soundtrack creator, and the Dolby Atmos processor determines which speakers it will use to create this lifelike movement. Dolby Atmos makes special effects sound really special while making voices much cleaner and easier to understand.
In a movie theater, with up to 64 speakers, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack brings movie stories to life in dramatic new ways. In TVs, the sound difference is amazing and makes the experience truly immersive. See this article on how you can use this technology in your TV. You’ll feel like you’re inside the action as you listen while Dolby reproduces all the objects in the original cinema mix.
Why does Cadence care about Dolby Atmos? Last year we announced our collaboration with Dolby to enable the world’s first TVs featuring Dolby Atmos technology. See our press release.
At CES, we announced that our Tensilica HiFi Audio DSP is the only DSP IP core supporting Dolby Atmos for PCs. See our press release. So if you have Dolby Atmos in your TV, computer, or laptop, you’re using Tensilica HiFi for great quality audio.
Finally, now Dolby Atmos is available on PCs and laptops. According to Dolby, “To reproduce the same (Dolby Atmos) experience over a device’s built-in speakers requires additional processing. Speakers generate a natural “crosstalk” phenomenon at our ears that works against simulating multiple channels. The Dolby Atmos processor cancels this crosstalk and then applies the head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) to create the dimensional soundstage and movement of the audio objects.”
Listen for yourself—you’ll be amazed at the difference. The crowds at our booth at CES loved it.
Our demo suite was crowded with people listening to and watching Tensilica demos