Computers are increasingly used in high-quality audio reproduction. The major advantage of a computer versus an embedded system is the great freedom and upgrade possibilities that a computer offers. In addition, computers are often equipped with powerful processors for easy processing of DSD streams, DSP settings and/or upsampling.
There are more and more manufacturers who use computer technology in their digital playback devices. Though, the built-in DAC in computers (part of the motherboard) is not sufficient enough to realize a high-quality digital to analog conversion. An external DAC is necessary. The Pink Faun I2S bridge realizes a high-quality I2S (PCM) connection between the music computer and the DAC. The Pink Faun I2S bridge also works as a filter to eliminate as many negative effects from the computer as possible and to allow a digital signal that is as clean as possible.
Pink Faun I2S bridge supported platforms:
Intel CPU with all Windows versions (WASAPI)
AMD CPU with all Windows versions (WASAPI)
AMD CPU with all Linux distributions (ALSA)
The Pink Faun HEA bridge is the base card for the I2S connection between computer and DAC. Unlike SPDIF, there is no industry standard for I2S. Each DAC manufacturer is free to choose its own connection for the I2S input. To overcome this, Pink Faun has developed the high-end Audio bridge (HEA bridge). The HEA bridge is a high-quality PCIe card with a flexible output system which can be placed in any computer. Pink Faun has built up a large database with compatible I2S DACs in recent years. If your DAC is in the list of compatible devices, then the Pink Faun HEA bridge is the best to use for streaming PCM files up to 32bit / 192KHz.
I2S or IIC stands for Inter-IC Sound and is an electrical serial bus interface that is used for connecting digital audio devices together. It is used to communicate PCM audio data between integrated circuits in an electronic device. The I2S bus separates clock and serial data signals, resulting in simpler receivers than those required for asynchronous communications systems that need to recover from the data stream. A frequently heard criticism is that I2S is not suitable for use between two devices. This criticism is totally unsubstantial. The results achieved with the Pink Faun HEA bridge speak for themselves. The maximum length between the HEA bridge (integrated circuit one) and the DAC’s I2S receiver (integrated circuit two) is one meter maximum. This length is absolutely irrelevant for a digital signal such as I2S.
Each Pink Faun HEA bridge is clocked with a TCXO clock embedded on the card. Although this clock provides outstanding results, there’s always room to improve. Therefore, the Pink Faun HEA bridge offers a very simple upgrade system for its clock. The clock upgrade is mounted on a separate board and is very easy to install on the HEA bridge. No need to solder on or program anything in the HEA bridge. The clock upgrade can also be carried out at a later stage, no technical knowledge is required. The clock upgrade is easy to place and the HEA bridge automatically switches to the improved clock.