Merging Technologies has announced an ALSA Linux driver designed to provide high performance Ravenna/AES67 support for its systems running on Linux ecosystems.

Merging is committed to foster the adoption of AES67 networking capability by making available a simple-to-integrate AES67 ALSA Linux driver with all required functionalities for Linux-based OEMs to take advantage of this rapidly evolving market. The company is also heavily involved in the Ravenna adoption on a general manner and in its own products; this ALSA driver also fully supports Ravenna, up to the highest quality including DSD.

The driver is available on two flavours, a public build for non-commercial applications available to anybody interested in AES67/Ravenna, and an OEM build for commercial products integration. The Ravenna ALSA implementation is split in two parts: a linux kernel module (LKM), MergingRavennaALSA.ko, and a user land daemon called the 'Butler', Merging_Ravenna_Daemon.

The kernel module part is responsible for registering as an ALSA driver, generating and receiving RTP audio packets, PTP driven interrupt loop, and Netlink communication between user and kernel. The Butler daemon part, meanwhile, is responsible for communication and configuration of the LKM, high-level Ravenna/AES67 protocol implementation, mDNS discovery, SAP discovery, Ravenna devices sample rate arbitration, web server, and remote volume control.

Key features:

  • 1fs to 8fs support.
  • PCM up to 384kHz.
  • Native DSD playback (64/128/256) support (DOP not supported).
  • Interleaved and non-interleaved 16/24/32 bit integer formats.
  • Up to 64 I/O @1fs.
  • Volume control.
  • PTP driven driver.

Although the kernel part (MergingRavennaALSA.ko) of this software is licensed under GNU GPL, the user land part (the daemon, named 'Butler') is divided in two licenses according to use case – OEM Build (OEM integration into commercial products) and Public Build: Personnal use (as long as the driver is not included in a commercial product).


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