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STMicroelectronics Creates 'Sound Terminal™' Family of High-Quality, High Efficiency, All-Digital Audio Solutions

Geneva, - STMicroelectronics, a world leader in the design and production of semiconductors for consumer applications, today announced a new digital audio streaming concept under its ‘Sound Terminal™' banner, which brings high audio quality, lower power dissipation, and reduced manufacturing costs to popular and fast-growing applications such as flat-panel TV sets, wireless products and personal audio systems.

. The high level of integration of the single-package solutions, combined with their fully digital stream from sound source to loudspeaker, enables the design of cost-effective, high-efficiency, small form-factor sound systems.

Initial products in the Sound Terminal family include a series of high-quality-audio single-chip systems – such as the already-shipping STA326 and STA323 – for high (20-80W), medium (10-20W) and low (less than 1.5W) power ranges, which integrate digital audio processing, digital amplifier control and a DDX® digital power output stage.

The power output of the STA326, for example, can drive 2 channels with 30W or 1 channel with 60W, and the chip can be configured easily via digital control to operate in several different output modes; it offers a full range of processing and equalization options, including up to 4 programmable 28-bit biquads per channel, and bass/treble tone control. Preset settings for a wide range of listening conditions can reduce software development time and simplify product design.

Full digital streaming removes the need for analog to digital converters as part of signal processing in the amplification chain, leading to very cost-effective solutions that maintain full audio quality, with 100dB signal to noise ratio (SNR) and dynamic range. Already available as silicon prototypes, Sound Terminal products for portable applications include amplification enabled by ST’s proprietary digital modulation technology (FFX), offering the highest amplifier efficiency in the market – up to 94% – to deliver ‘cool audio power’ and allow much longer battery life in portable systems, plus a significant reduction in heat-sink size to enable leading-edge product design.

Embedded digital processing capability offers major opportunities for sound enrichment and for the customization of features for specific audio applications; for example, compensating for the smaller loudspeakers and less-than-ideal chassis acoustic increasingly found in flat screen TV sets as designs become thinner.

In addition, the digital stream is ideal for integration with wireless audio interfaces, using Diffused Infrared, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), WiFi and UWB (Ultra-wideband) technologies, for applications such as remote loudspeakers and wireless headsets. During CES (2007 International CES, Las Vegas), ST will demonstrate real-world portable applications that use Bluetooth and Infrared interfaces and Sound Terminal technology. The Sound Terminal roadmap includes ASSPs (application specific standard products) integrating these and other interfaces.

For Gaming applications using wireless headsets and Bluetooth connectivity, Sound Terminal enables designers to enhance their product by using feedback signals from motion sensors in the headset to modify the sound according to the gamer’s head position.

“Sound Terminal is a great step forward for manufacturers of personal audio, home theatre systems, flat panel TVs and wireless headphones,” said Andrea Onetti, General Manager of the Audio Division within ST’s Home Entertainment and Display Group. “It reduces costs while preserving and enhancing audio quality, and also enables more compact designs. ST is the first company to introduce a product family based on a fully digital amplification stage, with embedded digital audio processing, and facilitating connectivity.”

Jueves, 04 Enero, 2007 - 05:48
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