Here is a simplified version of our block diagram. It shows all 19 printed circuit boards that will make our system. These boards are listed on this sheet. There, you will also find anticipated dimensions for all the boards, as well as estimates for their relative complexity. We will develop the easy ones first, starting with connectors and controls, then move on to the more complex ones, and finish with ADC and DAC boards. The latter are likely to be developed in two phases: first with simpler converters, then with the reference ES9102 and ES9018, which are really complex devices.
Connections between the backplane and the audio conversion boards have not been drawn, in order to keep the diagram as legible as possible. Nevertheless, these connections have been identified with the AIA-M and AO1-18 labels. These connections are also reflected on this sheet, which provides a list of all the connectors that will be used internally (to be completed soon).
While this block diagram look relatively simple, our design has reached an incredible level of complexity. Packing 19 PCBs in such a small enclosure borders on the insane, but what makes it truly complex is that we are combining analog and digital signals on three different boards, while using a mix of microprocessors, DSP coprocessors, and FPGA devices, not to mention a handful of microcontrollers that will be needed to interface our 8 rotary encoders, 9 faders, 32 LEDs, and 75 illuminated switches.
Bomttomline: don’t be too impatient. This won’t happen ovenight.
But you already knew that, didn’t you?