Conferencing, 3-way calls, and mixing audio streams

I am in the planning stages for an * system. One of the things that it must do is handle conferencing and 3-way calls. I know that one of the issues in making this scalable is the CPU load created by the near-realtime mixing of audio. I have played with Skype and watched the system quietly bury itself when additional streams were added.

Are there hardware DSP cards that can be used to offload this from the system and does * support any of them?

Incidentally, I know that the above is short on details. Intentionally so. I don’t want to ramble on with piles of irrelevancies. If more details are needed, I would be happy to supply. Please ask.

I am trying not so much to get a detailed answer as I am a general idea of if such products exist, their names, and whether they are supported. Once I know that, I can proceed to learn more and decide under what circumstances their use might be desirable.

I have Googled, Wiki’ed, read the Asterisk books… and searched this forum and others with every conceivable combination of search-keys, but have failed to find any discussion. About the best that I found was the slim reference to the problem in the guidelines for selecting an * platform in the * book from O’Reilly. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I will do the rest… or, at least, make the next step.

Thanks to everyone for the time and the help. If any developers read this, thanks for *.


special cards for conferences? Not that I know of. I don’t think you need them either.
First, skype is not a good place to compare to.

FWIW- My main (production) asterisk box for my business is a P2-300 with 384mb ram. The worst load I’ve ever had it under is 10 SIP channels all going into the same MeetMe conference. Not a single hickup.

I doubt you will even need this card. If you have a very large number of conferences, get a good CPU and you will be fine.

Thanks for the reply and the info. The hardware platform will not be anemic.

Best regards,