Pmod I2S Reference Manual

The Digilent Pmod I2S (Revision A) is a stereo audio module that accepts all major audio data interface formats and sample rates.

Download This Reference Manual


  • Stereo 24-bit D/A converter
  • Output converted audio signals through standard headphone jack
  • Supports all major audio data interface formats
  • Accepts 16-24 bits of audio data
  • 6-pin Pmod port with GPIO interface

Functional Description

The Pmod I2S utilizes a Cirrus Logic CS4344 Stereo D/A converter to take digital audio data and output the corresponding analog signal through a standard stereo headphone jack. It is designed to work at standard audio rates, although the master clock can run anywhere from 512 kHz to 50 MHz.

Interfacing with the Pmod

The Pmod I2S communicates with the host board via the GPIO protocol. As this module uses the Integrated Interchip Sound (I²S) protocol, several different clock lines are required.

The fastest clock signal will be the Master Clock (MCLK); as the name implies, this signal will keep everything nicely synchronized. The sample rate (Fs) clock, also known as the Left-Right Clock (LRCK) or the Word Select (WS) clock, indicates when a particular set of data is to be placed on the left or right audio channel for stereo sound.

The final clock is the bit clock, labeled as the Serial Clock (SCK) on the Pmod. This clock can either be provided as a signal from the host board, or can be internally derived by the Pmod itself by providing at least two consecutive frames of the LRCK without providing any SCK signals. The on-board chip will then measure the Master Clock rate and the LRCK rate and determine an appropriate bit clock rate. However, the MCLK/LRCK ratio must meet a set ratio in order to generate an internal SCK, as outlined in the table below from the CS4344 datasheet.

Internal SCK Mode External SCK Mode
16-bit data and SCK = 32*Fs if MCLK/LRCK = 1024, 512, 256, 128, or 64 Up to 24-bit data with data valid on the rising edge of SCK
Up to 24-bit data and SCK = 48*Fs if MCLK/LRCK = 768, 384, 192, or 96
Up to 24-bit data and SCK = 72*Fs if MCLK/LRCK = 1152

The ratio between the MCLK and the LRCK rates must be an integer ratio so that the internal clock dividers can determine an appropriate bit rate. A table of commonly used sample rates and their corresponding MCLK rates from the CS4344 datasheet is provided below:

64x 96x 128x 192x 256x 384x 512x 768x 1024x 1152x
32 - - - - 8.1920 12.2880 - - 32.7680 36.8640
44.1 - - - - 11.2896 16.9344 22.5792 33.8680 45.1580 -
48 - - - - 12.2880 18.4320 24.5760 36.8640 49.1520 -
64 - - 8.1920 12.2880 - - 32.7680 49.1520 - -
88.2 - - 11.2896 16.9344 22.5792 33.8680 - - - -
96 - - 12.2880 18.4320 24.5760 36.8640 - - - -
128 8.1920 12.2880 - - 32.7680 49.1520 - - - -
176.4 11.2896 16.9344 22.5792 33.8680 - - - - - -
192 12.2880 18.4320 24.5760 36.8640 - - - - - -

The I²S protocol requires that data is clocked in on the falling edge of the bit clock. The first bit of data (MSB) is not clocked in on the falling edge until a first complete bit clock cycle has passed after the LRCK has changed state. The rising edge of the bit clock clock informs the on board chip that the next bit of data can be read.

The delay of one bit clock cycle before transferring data at each LRCK change also implies that the least significant bit (LSB) of data will be transferred after the LRCK change has occurred. No particular phase relationship must be followed with this on-board chip, although the phase relationship must stay consistent throughout audio session. An example timing diagram of I²S from Texas Instruments is shown below:

Pmod I2S Timing Diagram

Pinout Description Table

Pin Signal Description
1 MCLK Master Clock
2 LRCK Left-right Clock
3 SCK Serial Clock
4 SDIN Serial Data input
5 GND Power Supply Ground
6 VCC Positive Power Supply

Any external power applied to the Pmod I2S must be within 3V and 5.25V; however, it is recommended that Pmod is operated at 3.3V.

Physical Dimensions

The pins on the pin header are spaced 100 mil apart. The PCB is 1 inch long on the sides parallel to the pins on the pin header and 0.8 inches long on the sides perpendicular to the pin header.

Additional Information

The schematics of the Pmod I2S are available here. Additional information the audio chip can be found from the Cirrus Logic datasheet here.

Example code demonstrating how to get information from the Pmod I2S can be found here.

If you have any questions or comments about the Pmod I2S, feel free to post them under the appropriate section (“Add-on Boards”) of the Digilent Forum.