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Fishman Case Study

fishman_logoFishman Chose Blackfin for Guitar Amplifier Innovations® —

fishman_graphic300x251As a premier designer and manufacturer of acoustic amplification products for more than 25 years, Fishman Transducers, Inc. knows just what musicians want. And because acoustic guitarists want to play without plugging into a wall socket, Fishman understands that digital products for these musicians have to be battery-powered and run on the 9-volt battery they prefer.

That made low-power operation for long battery life a must when Fishman selected a DSP for its digital products. When the possibilities were evaluated, Analog Devices' Blackfin® came out on top.

Fishman uses the Blackfin ADSP-BF532 running at a power-conserving 169 MHz (well below the processor's 400 MHz maximum). Because Blackfin integrates microcontroller functionality as well as digital signal processing (DSP), there was no need to add a separate microcontroller unit (MCU) that would have subtracted from battery life.  

About Fishman

 Widely recognized as the premier designer 
and manufacturer of acoustic amplification 
products, Fishman products are found in the 
hands of many of the world's top acoustic 
performers. Founder Larry Fishman's 
innovative and unique approach to 
engineering and building amplification 
products over the past 25 years has led to 
the granting of twenty-seven patents. Today 
Fishman products are sold both to original 
equipment manufacturers and to the music-
playing public through a worldwide network of 
musical instrument dealers and distributors. 

Their 32-bit audio processing is a cut above...but you can be sure players wouldn't be excited if they had to change batteries every performance," said David Fournier, director of product development, Fishman. "That's why now, when Fishman has a digital product, we are using Blackfin. No other processor we compared could match the power efficiency." 

The digital Ellipse Aura® Acoustic Imaging Guitar Preamp was the first Fishman product to feature Blackfin. The company developed a Blackfin-based compact printed circuit-board known within the company as the "sugar pack," because it is about the size of a sweetener packet.

Having created its "sugar pack," Fishman is able to focus on developing new features and delivering high-quality products, while benefiting from the economy of scale that results from starting with a standardized base. The Blackfin-based module is now used in the company's line of AFX®Guitar Effects Pedals and its Aura Imaging Pedal as well.

Aura was named the "Favorite Acoustic Guitar Pickup/Onboard Preamp" in Guitar Player magazine's 2008 Readers' Choice Awards.

Read more about these applications in the EE Times article and our press release.

For more information, contact Fishman.

Aura and AFX are registered trademarks of Fishman Transducers, Inc.

"That's why now, when Fishman has a digital product, we are using Blackfin. No other processor we compared could match the power efficiency."
David Fournier, Director of Product Development, Fishman