Dirac expands collaboration with NXP with automotive audio solutions

2 mins read

Swedish sound specialist Dirac has announced an expanded collaboration with NXP Semiconductors that will combine its digital audio solutions for entry-level vehicle sound systems with NXP’s SAF4000 multi-standard software defined radio processors.

As a consequence, automakers will now be able to digitally upgrade the performance of entry-level sound systems, which are typically those supplied in cars using up to 9 speakers.

The collaboration, which now includes both NXP’s SAF4000 radio and audio solution and i.MX 8 series applications processors, will also enable the companies to more effectively scale their bundled solution to reach more automakers worldwide.

“Premium in-car audio is increasingly in demand - no longer just in high-end luxury vehicles but in all vehicles, across all makes, models, and classes,” said Lars Carlsson, Dirac’s Vice President and Head of Business Development Automotive Audio. “Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo meet this demand with solutions that leverage our experience in the high-end market that is now tailored for entry-level sound systems.”

Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo include patented digital sound optimisation and spatialisation technologies, including measurement-based magnitude response correction, virtual bass, and virtual centre, that are able to tackle common acoustic challenges like negative car cabin impact, unbalanced soundstage, and lack of immersion. 

By leveraging key technologies, Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo, now compatible with NXP’s SAF4000 radio and audio solutions, will be able to help manufacturers to deliver optimised acoustic performance and immersive sound experiences, but without any expensive hardware upgrades.

The two solutions are built upon an all-in-one intelligent audio platform consisting of a measurement system, tuning tools, sound optimisation algorithms, and a hardware interface platform that enables manufacturers to achieve much improved sound quality faster, more easily, and consistently across vehicle models.                 

The intelligent audio platform features the industry’s first semi-automatic tuning system based on scientific measurements that optimises performance and delivers signature sound in a way that is highly efficient, consistent, and predictable.

“Our automotive customers are increasingly seeking ways to differentiate their vehicles through premium, high-quality audio as in-car infotainment becomes a major priority for both drivers and passengers alike. At the same time, design simplification and BoM cost saving are of highest priority,” explained Lars Boysen, Senior Director Product Marketing at NXP. “Our expanded collaboration with Dirac to offer Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo on our SAF4000 high-performance radio & audio IC allows us to reach more automakers with a joint solution that equips any car, regardless of its class or speaker system, with a hugely impressive audio experience.”  

The SAF4000 utilises a state-of-the-art audio DSP processing core together with a fully integrated software defined wideband radio solution capable of covering all global broadcast audio standards, including AM/FM, DAB(+), DRM(+) and HD-Radio. It simplifies the development of high-performance infotainment platforms as it replaces today’s multi-chip solution with a single ultra-compact RFCMOS device combining radio and audio IC as one high-performance system solution.