An “Audio Grade” Raspberry Pi

Not much free time these days so updates have been slow.. but I have a lot of interesting stuff cooking in the back burner.

One of them is an audio grade RPi.

Essentially it will be a Compute Module 3 on a mainboard loaded with ultra low noise linear power supplies and some necessary peripherals.

The idea came to me quite some time ago but it wasn’t until last November that I decided to actually go ahead with it.

The proof-of-concept PCBs for the mainboard were done by December.

It appears that even the PoC board, with average quality power supplies, has a cleaner I2S output compared to a standard RPi3 powered by an equivalent linear power supply:

RPi 3:

Audio grade Pi:

The next part was the PoC board for the USB Hub & Ethernet controller. That took a bit more time and a 4-layer PCB with numerous 0402 sized components but it too ended up just fine (with the exception of a bad RJ45 footprint..).

So now I have a fully functioning set of boards with average quality power supplies that already performs better than my Squeezebox Touch as a USB transport.

Next step is to design a single board integrating all of the components plus ultra high quality power supplies.

That will probably be a summer project..

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