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Improving battery life with ultra low-power codecs

Posted: 10 Aug 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:battery life  low power codecs  audio codec 

Portable consumer electronic device manufacturers are challenged to develop cost-efficient, high-performance, feature-rich audio solutions with longer battery life. At the same time, manufacturers are forced to reduce development time to be the first to introduce new products in the market. With the recent development of ultra low-power codecs with embedded mini-DSPs and powerful graphical programming tools, manufacturers can now meet these complex requirements.

The ultra low-power consumption and processing capabilities of these devices provide low-power audio solutions for systems requiring separate codecs, as well as for systems that incorporate base band or application processor chips with imbedded analogue I/O. The graphical programming environments and extensive software libraries permit applications to be developed in a fraction of the time required by conventional programming environments.

With respect to low-power operation, many of these new generation ultra low-power codecs can operate the analogue and digital cores from a single 1.5V to 1.8V supply. It's possible to further reduce power by operating the digital cores at voltages as low as 1.26V. Many devices have low-power operating modes. However, additional power-tuning options enable designers to tailor their power based on the individual configuration and processing options used in the record and playback paths. This allows designers to minimise power tuning to be dynamically optimised based on the number of input and output channels, output drive requirements, sample rate, desired SNR performance for the input and output, and processing features used.

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