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A Compact 120 Independent Element Spherical Loudspeaker Array with Programable Radiation Patterns

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We describe the geometric and engineering design challenges that were overcome to create a new compact, 10-inch diameter spherical loudspeaker array with integrated class-D amplifiers and a 120 independent channel digital audio interface using Gigabit Ethernet. A special hybrid geometry is used that combines the maximal symmetry of a triangular-faceted icosahedron with the compact planar packing of 6 circles on an equilateral triangle ("billiard ball packing"). Six custom 1.25inch drivers developed by Meyer Sound Labs are mounted on each of 20 aluminum triangular circuit boards. Class D amplifiers for the six speakers are mounted on the other side of each board. Two pentagonal circuit boards in the icosahedron employ Xilinx Spartan 3E FPGA's to demultiplex digital audio signals from incoming Gigabit Ethernet packets and process them before feeding the class-D modulators. Processing includes scaling, delaying, filtering and limiting.

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