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Audio IC includes MultiBand DRC feature

Posted: 15 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:audio processing  amplifier chip  home-audio  signal processing 

STA339BWS

STMicroelectronics NV has developed a combined audio processing and amplifier chip with improved features to increase performance from compact home-audio equipment. The STA339BWS is optimised for applications using small, low-cost speakers, such as flat-panel TVs and docking stations.

Digital audio techniques, such as signal processing and class-D power amplifiers, enable smaller systems to deliver high-quality room-filling sound that would be impossible with traditional hi-fi technologies. However, manufacturers are under constant pressure to deliver improved listening experiences from ever smaller and lower-cost equipment. ST's Sound Terminal digital audio ICs answer these challenges using techniques such as Full Flexible Amplification enabling a fully digital stream from sound source to loudspeaker. In the application, this produces improved audio performance, reduced cost, and smaller size.

As the latest addition to the Sound Terminal family, the STA339BWS combines IP from ST's audio processing and class-D power amplifier ICs into a single chip, and includes advanced features such as MultiBand Dynamic Range Compression (DRC). The DRC uses the latest sound-processing algorithms to enhance the performance of low-cost speakers and also prevents large bass signals from causing vibrations and damaging small speaker units.

In addition, it includes a seven-band equaliser. By offering two more bi-quads than common five-band equalisers, the STA339BWS improves speaker response and shaping of sound effects. A further advantage is continuous audio streaming when changing channels or audio sources, which saves muting the output to suppress noise during each transition. The output is configurable to deliver 2W x 20W stereo into 8Ω speakers or 2.1 channels at 2W x 10W plus 20W. This flexibility allows one hardware platform to serve several different products.

"The STA339BWS is the industry's first single-chip device to include audio power amplification and advanced DSP processing features such as MultiBand DRC," said Andrea Onetti, general manager of ST's audio division. "This powerful addition to the Sound Terminal family of digital audio ICs brings new functionality and higher performance, and delivers it in a smaller package, making it possible for leading home-entertainment equipment manufacturers to deliver best-in-class audio experiences for consumers."

By combining functions that previously required a multi-chip solution into a single device, the STA339BWS simplifies product design and assembly. The new IC is also pin-compatible with existing Sound Terminal ICs for flat-panel TVs, enabling easy design-in to next-generation products. Its high level of integration, compact footprint, and high audio performance also benefit products such as docking stations and mid-power home audio equipment.

The STA339BWS is delivered in a compact PowerSSO-36 package, and is priced at Rs.125.09 ($2.50) in quantities of 10,000 units.





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