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Hitting the targets

Blending audio and power management functionality solves consumer electronics problems. By Graham Pitcher.

The consumer sector is driving the electronics market and has done for some time now. The momentum comes mainly from consumer themselves as they look for the latest ‘bells and whistles’ in products ranging from mobile phones to personal music players. But the electronics industry isn’t shy of creating some momentum of its own by, effectively, pre empting the requirements of those companies developing products for the high street.
Common to all consumer electronics products – hand held and portable devices in particular – is the need to extend battery lifetime. Alongside the additional functionality that consumers seek is the requirement for their devices to operate for longer without either changing the batteries or plugging them in to recharge.
But battery operating time is only one dimension to deal with; customers also want better audio quality and there is a trend to smaller devices. So if you’re developing a portable media player – an MP3 player, for example – then you may well be looking at smaller devices producing better audio quality with less frequent battery changes. And, of course, there is the ever present drive for smaller price tags.
A number of companies are addressing these particular market needs; amongst them Wolfson Microelectronics, which is applying its mixed signal technology expertise to create an integration route which meets these requirements.

Graham Pitcher

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