15 March 2012

Audio amp ic enables greener mains power audio devices

HiWave Technologies has launched a single channel audio power amplifier for the consumer and hi-fi market, which it claims is more than 10 times more efficient at typical listening levels than comparable Class D amplifiers.

According to HiWave, the HiAS2001-QNC-010 delivers 13W burst and 3W continuous power output.

The device uses HiWave's proprietary Audium technology to create the switching audio power amplifier, optimised to operate directly from a low voltage (0.8 - 1.8V) battery source. HiWave reports that its design uses just 25mW to deliver the industry standard typical listening level (68dBC at 1m); a typical Class D amplifier could consume as much as 1000mW. It has been designed to deliver greater efficiency in both mains and battery powered speakers and remove the need for heat sinks. According to HiWave, it also enables new speaker classes, such as truly wireless hi-fi speakers, to be created. A wireless speaker based on the amplifier, combined with a power efficient wireless standard and 4 AA batteries would be capable of playing over 220 albums between charges: more than four months of playback.

The ic comes with an auto power save mode that automatically activates when no audio input is received and delivers 16bit per channel audio from configurable (left and right) I2S digital inputs and supports a 44.1 to 48kHz range with automatic sample rate adaption. It further integrates an audio signal processing stage for EQ and effects; a 44 step volume control (1.5dB per step); push button, control pin and rotary (volume) inputs; a tuneable bass boost; and click / pop suppression.

Chris Travis, CTO at HiWave said: "Existing switching audio amplifiers, such as Class D topologies, only achieve their claimed efficiencies will full scale sine waves. Conversely, HiWave's Audium technology is designed to be efficient at normal listening levels; it has a tiny baseline power consumption and exploits the peak to average power ratio of audio signals to minimise the variable, output dependent losses too."

James Lewis, CEO of HiWave, added: "The HIAS2001 delivers significant power savings for virtually all applications, and is most valuable in those that require a relatively high output power capability but the energy source is limited. Naturally, we see a large market opportunity for this technology in wireless speakers systems that connect to the PC, home surround sound system or smartphone, as well as greener audio equipment, docking stations and DAB or internet radios."

Sample quantities of the HiAS2001-QNC-010 are available immediately in a 64pin QFN package, while volume shipments will begin from March 2012.

Author
Chris Shaw

Supporting Information

Websites
http://www.hiwave.com

Companies
HiWave Technologies plc

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