Blog  /  VS1053: A Close-Up Look at this Versatile MP3 Decoder

VS1053: A Close-Up Look at this Versatile MP3 Decoder

The VS1053 is a versatile decoder that reads MP3, AAC, WAV, MIDI, FLAC, WMA, and Ogg Vorbis audio formats.

This VLSI codec chip is part of the company’s slave audio processor family, and it has a versatility advantage because you can load software into the chip RAM to expand its functionality.

Let’s cover the features and functionality of this MP3 decoder chip below to learn more about it.

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Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

One requirement only: Order must be placed using a company account.
Please email [email protected] for details.
Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

What Is a VS1053 Chip?

As stated earlier, the VS1053 is a powerful and versatile audio playback chip. And in addition to decoding all the primary audio formats in the market, you can use the processor for recording applications.

It can handle this recording function in three formats, which include the 16-bit lossless PCM that gives the best audio quality. The other two are IMA ADPCM and the high-compression, high-quality Ogg Vorbis. But you need a software plugin for real-time Ogg Vorbis encoding.

On the decoding side, the chip can read eight file formats, which include the following.

  • MP1 and MP2 (optional audio layers I and II for MPEG1 and MPEG2)
  • MP3 (audio layer III for MPEG 1 & 2)
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • FLAC audio with software plugin (lossless format with up to 48kHz and 24 bits)
  • MPEG4/2 AAC-LC(+PNS), level 3 HE-AAC v2 (SBR+PS)
  • WAV (PCM+IMA ADPCM)
  • General MIDI 1/SP-MIDI format 0
  • All WMA profiles (4.0, 4.1, 7, 8, and 9) covering 5-384 kbps

For MP3 decoding, the chip combines CBR (Constant Bit Rate), VBR (Variable Bit Rate), and ABR (Average Bit Rate).

This chip comes in two variations.

  • VS1053B-L: Houses all the encoding and decoding features above
  • VS8053B-L: Lacks MP3, WMA, and HE-AAC decoders

Other Features

The VS1053 chip is more than an audio encoding and decoding chip because it has these extra features.

  • Supports audio streaming
  • Offers treble and bass controls
  • Processes EarSpeaker spatial audio to simulate sound in a room with two loudspeakers
  • Stereo headphone/earphone driver (30 ohm load maximum)
  • Internal (on-chip) stereo digital-to-analog converter with zero phase error in between the channels
    An infographic showing the difference between an ADC and a DAC

    An infographic showing the difference between an ADC and a DAC

      • I2S interface for linking to an external digital-to-analog converter
      • UART interface for debugging
      • Low power consumption with silent power on and off
      • SPI flash boot for special applications
      • Built-in PLL clock multiplier
      • Runs using either a single 12-13 MHz or 24-26 MHz clock
      • Smooth volume detection (zero cross-detection)
      • Usable as a slave co-processor
      • Separate voltages for the digital, analog, and GPIO pins
      • Serial data and control interface

      And remember, you can load software into the chip’s RAM using the eight VS1053 GPIO pins to increase these functions/features.

      Physical Dimensions

      The VS1053 comes as an LQFP-48 package that measures 7x7x1.4mm. LQFP is an acronym for Low-profile Quad-Flat Package, meaning the chip is thin (1.4mm) and is a surface-mount type with component leads or pins extending from the four sides.

    A Quad-Flat Package with 32 pins

    A Quad-Flat Package with 32 pins

    The number 48 implies the component leads are 48 or 12 on each side.

    The package is Lead-free and RoHS-compliant (the electronic equipment does not have certain hazardous substances).

    Pin Functions

    Each pin has a specific function summarized in the table below.

    AI (Analog Input Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    1

    MICP/ LINE1

    Line-1 in/self-biasing +ve differential mic input

    2

    MICN

    Self-biasing -ve differential mic input

    18

    XTALI

    Crystal input

    48

    LINE2

    Right channel line-2 in

    DI (Digital Input Pins/CMOS Input Pads)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    3

    XRESET

    Schmitt-trigger input/ active low asynchronous reset

    13

    XDCS/ BSYNC

    Byte sync/ data chip select

    23

    XCS

    Chip select input (active when low)

    26

    RX

    UART receive (link to IOVDD if unused)

    28

    SCLK

    Serial bus clock

    29

    SI

    Serial input

    32

    XTEST

    Reserved to testing functions (link to IOVDD)

    DGND (Core or I/O Ground Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    4

    DGND0

    I/O & core ground

    16

    DGND1

    I/O & core ground

    20

    DGND2

    I/O & core ground

    21

    DGND3

    I/O & core ground

    22

    DGND4

    I/O & core ground

    35

    GND

    I/O ground

    CPWR (Core Power Supply Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    5

    CVDD0

    Core power supply

    7

    CVDD1

    Core power supply

    24

    CVDD2

    Core power supply

    31

    CVDD3

    Core power supply

    IOPWR (I/O Power Supply Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    6

    IOVDD0

    I/O power supply

    14

    IOVDD1

    I/O power supply

    19

    IOVDD2

    I/O power supply

    DO (Digital Output Pins/CMOS Input Pads)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    8

    DREQ

    Data request input bus

    15

    VCO

    Clock VCO output (for testing purposes only)

    27

    TX

    UART transmit

    DIO (Digital Input/Output Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    9

    GPIO2/ DCLK

    General purpose IO 2/ serial input data bus clock

    10

    GPIO3/ SDATA

    General purpose IO 3/ serial data input

    11

    GPIO6/ I2S-SCLK

    General purpose IO 6/ serial clock bus interface

    12

    GPIO7/ I2S-SDATA

    General purpose IO 7/ serial data input bus interface

    25

    GPIO5/ I2S-MCLK

    General purpose IO 5/ master clock bus interface

    33

    GPIO0

    SPI boot (General purpose IO 0). Use it with a 100kΩ pull-down resistor.

    34

    GPIO1

    General purpose IO 1

    36

    GPIO4/ I2S_LROUT

    General purpose IO 4/ LROUT bus interface

    AO (Analog Output Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    17

    XTALO

    Crystal output

    39

    RIGHT

    Right channel output

    42

    GBUF

    Headphone/earphone common buffer (do not ground)

    46

    LEFT

    Left channel output

    DO3 (Digital Output Pin/CMOS Tri-Stated Output Pad)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    30

    SO

    Serial output

    APWR (Analog Power Supply Pins)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    37

    AGND0

    Analog ground low noise reference

    38

    AVDDO

    Analog power supply

    40

    AGND1

    Analog ground

    41

    AGND2

    Analog ground

    43

    AVDD1

    Analog power supply

    45

    AVDD2

    Analog power supply

    47

    AGND3

    Analog ground

    AIO (Analog Input/Output Pin)

    Pin No.

    Pad Name

    Function

    44

    RCAP

    Filtering capacitance for reference

    What Is a VS1053 MP3 Shield?

    This shield expands the capabilities of the VS1053 chip and enables you to mount it on a microcontroller board, such as Arduino.

    The component introduces the following features.

    An MP3 shield

    • A microphone for recording
    • Stereo and headphone outputs
    • Power indicator
    • 2.8V and 3.3V LDO AMS-117 chips for supplying up to 800mA
    • 12.288 MHz crystal
    • SD card slot
    • Single 5V DC power supply

    Wrap Up

    The VS1053 is a must-have chip for microcontroller audio projects because it has the required versatility, including multiple encoding and decoding formats. 

    You can simplify its usage using the VS1053 MP3 shield, which plugs it into microcontroller boards. So you don’t have to solder the chip to a pad. 

    You can read more about Arduino shields here, and contact us if you have any questions. 

     

     

    Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

    One requirement only: Order must be placed using a company account.
    Please email [email protected] for details.
    Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!