Meylan, France -- June 30, 2009 --
Low power consumption has become a hot selling argument for SoCs targeting nomad audio applications. Class D amplifiers have demonstrated their superior power efficiency for driving loud-speakers. Since Class AB amplifiers were so far unpopular due to their low power efficiency, diverse new types of amplifiers have appeared for driving earphones and headphones, such as Class G... all sharing the same penalty: their significant increase of the Bill-of- Material.
In most cases, such an increase of the BoM is incompatible with the price targets of consumer portable equipments. The breakthrough DAC, named Helium, paves the way to a new generation of audio converters, which combine ultra-low power consumption and low BoM with high audio quality.
"In the audio industry, there are fashions as in all industries", says Hélène Colin, Converter Product Line Manager at Dolphin Integration. "For years, users of audio converters were requesting Class D amplifiers even for driving headphones or earphones. Nowadays, the emergence of new types of amplifiers again sounds as if THE solution for improving the power efficiency was there. It is all but simple!" she adds.
"The real challenge is to ensure the best power efficiency when using earphones and headphones: the listener typically needs an output level about 0.01 mW and up to 0.1 mW. In such conditions, Helium with a Class AB amplifier is the star!"
Indeed Helium audio DAC consumes, in playback mode, as low as 2.14 mA for the DAC and its Class AB amplifier, which makes it the world most power saving solution!
The company also explains that this ultra-low power consumption is achieved thanks to their innovative DAC core architecture, referred as Helium, which consumes as low as 1.1 mA while starring a SNR up to 95 dB.
As for the Bill-of-Material, the company also confirms that its Class AB amplifier is "inexpensive". In a capacitor-coupled configuration, only one capacitor is needed at each audio output...
An Audio converter based on Helium is proposed as a stand-alone audio DAC or as part of audio CODEC configurations. Processes from 130 nm G down to 65 nm LP are supported – ready to launch the 55 nm and 40 nm variants.
For more information about products from Dolphin Integration, download Presentation sheets from www.dolphin-ip.com
or contact Hélène Colin, Converter Product Line Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
. About Dolphin Integration
Dolphin Integration is up to their charter as the most adaptive creator in Microelectronics to "enable mixed signal Systems-on-Chip", with a quality management stimulating reactivity for innovation. Their current mission is to supply worldwide customers with fault-free, high-yield and reliable sets of CMOS Virtual Components, resilient to noise and drastic for low power-consumption, together with engineering assistance and product evolutions customized to their needs.