Fig 1. The Thunderbird Avenger audio processor.
The card is smaller physically, and resembles most other sound cards (including Creative’s SBLive!). The sleek black PCB is host to Philips’ Thunderbird Avenger audio controller, which, in fact, is similar in many ways to Creative’s EMU10K1. We’ll go more into the functionality of the Thunderbird in a short while.
Fig 2. SigmaTel Digital Signal Processors.
Two smaller digital signal processors (DSPs) are used for supplementary processing. The parts are popular CODECs manufactured by Sigmatel.
The back of the card features four connectors. Two are standard stereo minijacks; one line input, and one microphone input. The remaining two are DIN-style connectors, and require the provided break-out cables to use. The first breakout cable branches into three additional minijacks for front, rear, and center and LFE channels (analog 5.1-channel output). The second break-out cable provides a coaxial S/PDIF output and input
Fig 3. Internal Connectors.
The card features four internal connectors. An Auxiliary 4-pin input is provided, as well as a 4-pin TAD (Telephone Answering Device) input. In addition, two CD inputs are provided; one analog, and one digital (S/PDIF). It’s worth noting that both the internal and external S/PDIF inputs cannot be populated at once.