OCA Alliance unveils OCA Micro Demonstration Platform

July 28 2015, 04:00

At the recent 2015 InfoComm exhibition in Orlando, FL, the Open Control Architecture (OCA) Alliance exhibited its “OCA MicroDemo,” a “demonstration product” to prove that OCA – a common remote control and monitoring language for digital audio networks – can run in lightweight hardware environments. Developed jointly by OCA member companies Focusrite, Attero Tech, and Bosch, the circuit board was shown at the Alliance booth during the exhibition.
Simon Jones, Research and Development
Manager at Focusrite Audio Engineering,
with OCA micro demonstration circuit board
Speaking for the OCA Alliance, Technology Manager at Focusrite Audio Engineering, Simon Jones, who is involved with the development of OCA Micro, stated, “The OCA MicroDemo is a demonstration product being co-developed by OCA Alliance members. Its primary purpose is to prove that OCA can run well in lightweight hardware environments. At this time, MicroDemo hardware development is complete and software development will be completed later this year.” 

The OCA MicroDemo runs on a 120 MHz Cortex M3 processor, with just 512kB of Flash memory and 128kB of SRAM, and operates via standard 10/100 baseT Ethernet or USB 2.0 networking. Further information on the OCA MicroDemo is available from the OCA Alliance.

Alliance member companies also introduced further products featuring OCA functionality at InfoComm 2015. These included the PRS-40M14 OMNEO Interface from Bosch Communications. Part of the Bosch Praesideo digital public address & emergency voice alarm system, this is an alternative to the existing LBB4404/00 CobraNet Interface, with which it shares the same functionality, features and price, but connects to an OMNEO or Dante network and uses OCA to provide real-time control and monitoring.

d&b audiotechnik introduced two additional OCA enabled products; the 4 channel next generation 10D and 30D installation amplifiers. See more details here.

Commenting on the success of InfoComm15 for the OCA Alliance, Marketing Group Chair, Marc Weber of d&b, said, “With further new OCA enabled products, we are looking forward to transforming part of the OCA vision into reality: the simplified integration of a voice alarm system and an entertainment audio system from multiple manufacturers.”

“OCA Alliance members also conducted a further series of meetings during the exhibition with professional audio and AV manufacturers. Announcement of new member companies will be made on completion of membership applications by some of these manufacturers.”
The OCA Alliance booth at the InfoComm 2015 show in Orlando, FL.
OCA is an open control and monitoring standard for professional audio and AV media network devices. From a single device and controller to networks with almost any number of devices and multiple controllers, OCA provides for powerful, high speed, low cost, robust system control and monitoring of devices from different manufacturers.  OCA can be used in conjunction with any available transport protocol (Dante, AVB, AES67, Cobranet, etc.).

Offering interoperability across different media transports and manufacturers’ devices, it enables whole new levels of complex system integration and options as to how and where network devices can be deployed. The architecture operates on commodity Ethernet networking hardware or via standard 802.11 Wi-Fi.  Control functionality allows system professionals to change and monitor all operating parameters of a network device, including the creation and deletion of signal paths, parameter adjustments for signal processing objects, network device firmware updates and management of access control. Control can also be limited to provide simpler ‘operator’ functionality; for instance, providing just level, mute, power on/off and fault indication.  

Audio Engineering Society (AES) project “AESX210” is currently working to render OCA into a ratified AES standard this year. OCA is not itself a media transport, or a means of programming a network device or system control, or generating a user interface. OCA is available free of charge to manufactures, system integrators and designers, to implement with their own and third party network devices, as they require.
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