Real-time sound field renderings are computationally intensive and memory-intensive. Traditional rendering systems based on computer simulations suffer from memory bandwidth and arithmetic units. The computation is time-consuming, and the sample rate of the output sound is low because of the long computation time at each time step. In this work, a processor with a hybrid architecture is proposed to speed up computation and improve the sample rate of the output sound, and an interface is developed for system scalability through simply cascading many chips to enlarge the simulated area. To render a three-minute Beethoven wave sound in a small shoe-box room with dimensions of 1.28 m × 1.28 m × 0.64 m, the field programming gate array (FPGA)-based prototype machine with the proposed architecture carries out the sound rendering at run-time while the software simulation with the OpenMP parallelization takes about 12.70 min on a personal computer (PC) with 32 GB random access memory (RAM) and an Intel i7-6800K six-core processor running at 3.4 GHz. The throughput in the software simulation is about 194 M grids/s while it is 51.2 G grids/s in the prototype machine even if the clock frequency of the prototype machine is much lower than that of the PC. The rendering processor with a processing element (PE) and interfaces consumes about 238,515 gates after fabricated by the 0.18 µm processing technology from the ROHM semiconductor Co., Ltd. (Kyoto Japan), and the power consumption is about 143.8 mW.
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