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Audio processor boosts clarity, protects speaker systems

Posted: 27 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:audio? speakers? processor? modulation?

As key components of advanced audio systems now being squeezed in flat-screen televisions and compact docking stations, processors must not only help reproduce an entire audio frequency spectrum with good performance, but also prevent signals from damaging the speakers. STMicroelectronics came up with a solution that claims to address these challenges.

The solution provides control and processing functions in multi-channel applications, embedding eight audio-processing channels with up to 10 independent user-selectable biquadratic filters per channel. This shows considerable potential for both high-end and entry-level equipment.

However, the big draw of this processor, named STA311B, is hinged on the combination of various ST technologies that, according to STMicroelectronics Analog and Audio Systems Division GM Andrea Onetti, work together to deliver the ideal listening experience while reducing overall footprint and BOM.

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Figure 1: STA311B block diagram. Source: ST

Optimising the entire audio system

The HDR (high dynamic range) audio-signal acquisition technology allows digital signals with a dynamic range exceeding 130dB to be generated without the need for expensive, high-performance ADCs. This technique, for which ST has a patent application pending, facilitates the processing of sounds as low as a whisper or as high as a jet engine noise with the same degree of clarity.

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Figure 2: In traditional market solution, a separate ADC is utilised to produce digital signals. The level of integration in the signal acquisition technology allows engineers to save cost, reduce IC count and design unconstrained form factor products. Source: ST

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