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Ron Johnson put forth on 7/22/2010 2:36 PM:

> Intel, IIRC, tried at one point about 15 years ago to migrate most audio
> processing on-CPU.

For the current state of such things see:


The heavy lifting of audio processing, specifically the AD/DA conversion, is
still today handled by dedicated silicon and other analog electronic
components, not software on the host CPU.

To perform the AD/DA directly on the CPU would require analog circuits built
into the CPU itself along with additional socket pins and main board wires to
the input output jacks.  It would also require output analog line drivers with
variable AC voltage--an audio amplifier--built into the CPU.

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to add the required voltage
regulators, capacitors, and resistor networks required for analog output
circuits directly onto the CPU.  These and many other factors will pretty much
forever prevent a complete audio solution from being integrated directly into
a general purpose CPU.

The main benefit of AC97 and later specifications is that they almost
instantly became defacto industry standards, which eliminated most/all of the
proprietary software interfaces of the previous age of sound cards, epitomized
by the Creative Multimedia SoundBlaster.  This made writing sound device
drivers for all operating systems much more straight forward and eliminated
many existing software compatibility problems in the PC sound industry.


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