VIA intros HD Audio codec chip
Soon, we may no longer have to fear the crab, as we tend to do, when we open a motherboard box. Realtek's semi-ubiquitous, crab-emblazoned ALC800-series codecs are getting some competition from VIA in the form of a brand-new, multi-channel DAC/ADC chip dubbed the VT1708. From the press release:
The VIA Vinyl VT1708 HD Audio Codec delivers to the market a solution with high fidelity audio playback featuring four premium quality stereo DACs enabling 8 channel support, and 2 stereo ADCs, all of which support the latest 24-bit, 192KHz audio standards. The VIA Vinyl VT1708 HD Audio Codec additionally supports features that further tweak the audio experience, such as a high quality headphone amplifier, enhanced recording features, and advanced connectivity.
VIA claims a 100 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the device, but we'll have to see how it performs in real-world implementations. Since the VT1708 carries the Vinyl Audio brand, I would expect this new codec to work with VIA's Vinyl Audio drivers, which include 3D positional audio algorithms from Q-Sound. This codec could start showing up in motherboards based on VIA's own VT8251 south bridge or any other core-logic solutions that conform to the HD Audio spec.