ARMX6 OS update 7 – USB audio, JPEGs and performance

Announcement from Andrew Rawnsley, 6th April, 2016.

We’re pleased to announce the release of ARMX6 OS Update 7. It is now available for download by ARMX6 owners from the usual ARMX6 users’ download site.

This release combines several strands of development, and we hope there’s something for everyone in OS update 7:

  • Performance increases due to improved memory/cache handling. The new OS shows roughly 15% performance increase in RAM/cache tests.
  • USB audio support. The new ROM includes support for Isochronous USB devices such as USB audio hardware. At present this requires additional software to utilise (unlike HDMI audio), so we’d recommend a visit to Jim Lesurf’s AudioMisc website. A side benefit of this work is that USB seems generally more robust, and so occasional oddities observed with previous OS versions do not seem to occur on this one.
  • Improved JPEG handling. Many applications use the OS JPEG handling routines for rapid display. These were previously restricted in terms of what they could handle (e.g. some recent format JPEGs wouldn’t work). The new OS version includes much better support for a wide variety of JPEGs, in line with current JPEG specs.
  • Super-high quality audio playback over HDMI. ARMX6 is now able to play back up to 192khz audio via HDMI, for maximum quality. You’ll probably need to connect to suitable audio hardware (e.g. AV amp) to take advantage of this, but it is now possible.
  • “Release” version of our SPI driver for controlling / communicating with external devices. Commonly used in industrial and embedded applications, SPI allows standardised communication with a wide range of external devices. The SPI driver has been fed back to ROOL for use in all RISC OS builds. Documentation is available on request, and more info on SPI can be found on Wikipedia.

Needless to say, there are also a selection of bug fixes and general improvements across the whole OS, so this is well worth downloading and installing.

New ARMX6s sold at the Wakefield Show will naturally contain OS Update 7 “out of the box”.

As usual, OS Update 7 has undergone extensive testing both internally and externally. We urge customers to install this free update ASAP to benefit from the latest improvements.

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