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Digital audio-grade IC operates without MCU

Posted: 01 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital audio-grade IC? microcontroller? MUC?

Nuvoton Technology Corp. has developed the ChipCorder ISD2100, claimed to be the first true single-chip digital audio-grade IC, enabling industrial and consumer product makers to quickly and economically brand their designs with audio-grade digital playback of voice and/or music.

The highly-integrated ISD2100 reduces overall product costs and conserves designs' "real estate" through its ability to operate independently of a microcontroller, along with its built-in digital compression, flash storage for non-volatile audio playback of up to 30 seconds, a speaker driver, and digital audio signal paths. Additionally, the very-low-power (With its blend of integration and programmability features, the ISD2100 enables designers a cost-effective solution to distinguish their products with high-quality digital playback of audio-grade sound alerts and corporate audio-logo clips. Such "acoustic branding" has already taken hold across a range of markets to reinforce brand identityfrom telematics such as navigation, radar, automotive and hands-free systems to medical and industrial uses like personal-emergency-response and warning devices, instrumentation systems, and vending machines. These markets represent the growing need for ways to efficiently convey targeted messages, tapping into users' powerful sense of sound and memory.

Additionally, the ISD2100 complements the emerging use of touch sensors in industrial and consumer products; the device can be activated immediately by touch sensors, thus providing alerts or other audio feedback while the full system is waking up.

"Since the inception of the ChipCorder family, Nuvoton has endeavored to expand designers' imaginations as to what they can accomplish with voice/audio applications," said CS Lin, senior director of product marketing at Nuvoton Technology Corp. America. "As the industry's first true single-chip audio-grade IC, the ISD2100 expands our highly successful ChipCorder line with more programmability, greater playback clarity and an unmatched array of integrated features that enable cost-efficient products across multiple markets."

Nuvoton engineers developed the ISD2100 to assure designers have a true single-chip solution for digital-audio playback of up to 30 seconds in applications where traditional external devicesMCUs, flash memory, DAC, digital filters and speaker driversare impractical. The device still can be used in conjunction with a host MCU, though once the ISD2100 is programmed, there's no need for MCU intervention, and the ISD2100's array of memory-management features make audio playback transparent to a host controller.

The ISD2100's programmable general-purpose input/output (GPIO) flexibility allows designers to trigger several different combinations of script macros containing audio files, thus enabling user-initiated audio applications. Additionally, while the ISD2100 can be factory preprogrammed, it also may be programmed via its SPI, in either the field or manufacturing.

The ISD2100, available in a 20-pin QFN green packaging, is sampling now with production scheduled for later in Q1, at $1 in volume quantities for the ten-second-duration version.

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