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Multichannel signal processors simplify audio designs

Posted: 16 Mar 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bettyann Liotta  analogue  signal  processor  Wolfson Microelectronics 

Two multichannel analogue signal processors that combine six separate component functions were introduced recently by Wolfson Microelectronics plc.

The WM8580 and WM8581 processors are said to provide a highly flexible system for routing and converting multiple audio paths and formats, significantly simplifying audio path design and making them practical for LCD televisions, rewritable DVD systems and AV receivers.

With high-performance audio and S/PDIF jitter performance, the devices offer an analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) and multichannel digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), a 4:1 S/PDIF transceiver and a second audio interface for highly flexible audio signal routing.

The products are built around a high quality multichannel audio codec that is suited for 5.1 and 7.1 audio outputs, or providing the multiple independent outputs such as speaker, line out, headphone and auxiliary. Both devices feature a two-channel ADC. The WM8580 integrates a six-channel DAC, while the WM8581 integrates an eight-channel DAC.

Each part features a 4:1 S/PDIF transceiver, with a maximum period jitter of 50ps, allowing them to lock onto and recover timing from poor quality input signals. The transceiver can therefore accept S/PDIF signals from a source even if the input signal is severely degraded, said John Crawford, Wolfson's product marketing manager.

To address high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI), data recovery, memory card recording and surround sound processors, Wolfson has developed a second audio interface, which allows seamless digital connection to multiple DSPs and peripherals, according to Crawford.

The WM8580 and WM8581 codecs' have two- and three-wire serial or hardware control interfaces. The multiple DAC outputs have independent digital volume controls. The devices operate on 2.7V to 5.5V for analogue functions, and 2.7V to 3.6V for digital functions.

Both the WM8580 and the WM8581 are available for sampling in 48-pin TQFP packages and are priced at Rs.164.17 ($3.71) and Rs.173.90 ($3.93), respectively, in 10,000-piece quantities.

- Bettyann Liotta

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