What does the Crystal Semiconductor CS4231 chip do?

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

What does the Crystal Semiconductor CS4231 chip do?

Postby retro games 100 » 2018-11-09 @ 08:59

I'm looking at the following sound card, please see below:
mw--75-95.JPG


Thanks very much to Vogons user "cyclone3d", who identified the card (in another post) as being manufactured by MultiWave Innovation, and it being a MultiWave AudioWave sound card.

I'm guessing, by looking at stason.org diagrams, that the specific model might be called "16 AISP".

I have some qustions about the 3 chips on it.

1) The easy one is on the left. I'm a bit rusty about this, but am I right in thinking that if you go in to the sound settings for a DOS game, and look at the music options, you can pick Adlib or Soundblaster, and this OPL chip will handle this. It does FM music. Does it handle anything else? Does it cover *all* models of soundblaster?

2) I'm least sure about the middle chip. Is it made by MediaVision, the company who made the ProAudio Spectrum sound cards? I've heard of a term called "bus interface" chip, and wondered if this MVD chip was one of these chips? If so, does it do anything other than "bus interfacing", and what does that actually mean?! Could a bus interface chip also be called a bus controller chip?

3) I think this is called a Crystal Semiconductor codec chip, but what does the word codec mean? Is it short for something? Does this codec chip handle emulation, as in soundblaster sound effects (as opposed to music)? Does it do anything else? Eg WSS emulation?

4) I guess there are different versions/revisions of this CS codec chip. I guess more advanced ones emulate more and different types of sound cards? Does a CS chip only emulate sound EFFECTS, and never music?

5) If the above is correct, then what chip(s) handle recording responsibilites?

Thanks very much for any comments!! :)
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Re: What does the Crystal Semiconductor CS4231 chip do?

Postby root42 » 2018-11-09 @ 09:50

Have a look at the datasheet:

https://www.cebix.net/downloads/bebox/cs4231a.pdf

Yes, it provides WSS support, integrates ADC and DAC capabilities, ADPCM compression, mixer and some more things. IT is basically a Windows Sound System on a chip it seems.
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Re: What does the Crystal Semiconductor CS4231 chip do?

Postby kode54 » 2018-11-10 @ 06:45

It is also partially Sound Blaster Pro compatible. Certain sound engines of yore will break on it, however. Build games and ROTT with Jim Dosé’s sound system will be limited to half the sample rate of the physical hardware, or about 11kHz stereo or about 22kHz mono. Sometimes you can lock up the codec and reset it into a SB 2.0 mode that can’t do stereo, but can do 44kHz mono.

Games like that 32 bit arcade Skunny game, I forgot the name of the sound toolkit, but neither its SB nor WSS drivers work with the CS4231. And they’ll both jam the codec.

Both the jam above and the SB 2.0 sticks will persist until a hardware reset is issued to the machine. This *may* have been specific to the CS4231 configuration on the Packard Bell Sound Card / 14.4 modem with software assisted compression. See, Rockwell was already on the way to the future of Conexant’s winmodems.
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Re: What does the Crystal Semiconductor CS4231 chip do?

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-11-10 @ 19:01

The level of SB Pro support is dependent on the bus chip.
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Re: What does the Crystal Semiconductor CS4231 chip do?

Postby retro games 100 » 2018-11-11 @ 12:24

Thanks a lot for the info people, that's great to know!
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