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TI unveils 'highest-power' single-chip Class D amp stage

Posted: 06 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TI? TAS5261? Class D? amplifier stage? power stage?

Texas Instruments says its TAS5261 is the industry's highest power single-chip Class D amplifier stage, delivering more than 300W into a 4-ohm speaker (or 220W into 6 ohms, 125W into 8 ohms) for AV and DVD receivers and home theater systems. That's double the capability of any other Class D power stage, according to the company. Also announced, its TAS5162 stereo product can deliver 200W per channel at 6 ohms and 125W at 8 ohms.

Double power stage capability
"TI's Class-D expertise allows OEMs to take advantage of all the benefits of a digital amplifier, including a cost-effective, all-digital, end-to-end implementation and crystal-clear audio with no signal degradation at even the highest power levels," said Art George, senior VP of TI's high-performance analog business unit. "The TAS5261 is unmatched in how much power and current it can reliably drive, more than doubling what is available in today's digital amplifier power stages."

A viable alternative to traditional high-power systems, which generally utilize Class AB amplifiers or rather large Class D modules, the PWM-driven TAS5261 and TAS5152, part of the company's PurePath Digital portfolio of compact solutions, offers an efficiency greater than 95 percent (reportedly several percent higher than any competing device) and SNR of 110dB. TAS5261 features a total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) of less than 0.09 percent at 125W and 8 ohms (THD+N would be 10 percent at 315W and 4 ohms).

In addition to its high-current handling capability (up to 17A), the TAS5261/TAS5162 includes two-stage current-limiting circuitry to deal with speaker resonance conditions and impedance drop versus frequency, and cycle-by-cycle short-circuit monitoring to prevent speaker damage, says Kevin Belnap, marketing manager for home entertainment audio and high performance analog. The TI design also does away with the need to deal with power-up sequencing and related pre-biasing issues, a standout feature at this power level, he says.

Economic advantages
Beyond this edge in performance, designers are going to be happy with the economic advantages, says Belnap. Indeed, the new Class D chips integrate the required MOSFET H-bridges to reduce board size, ease layout, simplify heat sink design and cut manufacturing costs. The materials and real-estate savings become especially dramatic for the larger systems, he says: An 8-channel design using these new parts require essentially four chips, versus four drivers and 32 MOSFETs in the traditional design for the same power output.

The TAS5162 is also pin-compatible with earlier TAS51x2 devices, enabling OEMs to design a single board that can deliver 100W (TAS5142), 125W (TAS5152) or 200W (TAS5162) per channel, thereby eliminating multiple designs and simplifying logistics.

The TAS5261 is already available in volume orders in PSOP-3 packaging at $5.25 each in quantities of 1,000 or more. TAS5162, available in both PSOP-3 and HTSSOP packaging, is slated for volume production by December.

- Vince Biancomano
eeProductCenter




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