High-End Audio System-on-Chip

May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011

High-End Audio System-on-Chip
Source: Press Release

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leading supplier of high-performance audio ICs, expects its latest Sound Terminal™ digital audio System-on-Chip (SoC) to be at the core of even slimmer home audio designs, as the first device of its type supporting up to 50W of output power with no external heatsink required.

With high-end audio now a mainstream lifestyle market, catalyzed by desirables such as must-have personal music players and high-definition multimedia, consumers expect audiophile sound quality from fashionable home tech such as music docks, sound bars and digital active speakers. Highly efficient class-D amplifiers, which produce very little heat, have played a central role in enabling the miniature heatsink and enclosure sizes common to these types of products. ST’s latest Sound Terminal IC, the STA350BW, takes this efficiency to a new level, allowing heatsink-free design up to 50W for ultimate slim-line styling.

Like other devices in the Sound Terminal family the STA350BW has digital audio processing on the chip and features performance enhancing innovations pioneered by ST such as Multiband Dynamic Range Compression (MDRC), which boosts audio clarity and system reliability. The SoC is also able to compensate non-ideal speaker characteristics. Enhancements introduced in this generation include optimized low-frequency response for outstanding bass performance. In addition, integrated protection features safeguard the system against a wide range of fault conditions. Run-time automatic diagnostic circuitry helps prevent failures and boosts the overall reliability of the application.

The IC’s power stage uses ST’s FFX™ technology to stream full digital audio to the speakers. This maximizes flexibility for configurable products by providing four selectable run-time output configurations supporting a choice of operating modes including 2.0, 2.1 or 1.0 channel, or 2.0-channel with a PWM output for an external subwoofer.

Major features of STA350BW:

- 50W stereo output with no heatsink required
- FFX technology digital audio streaming to speakers
- Integrated system protection and performance optimization features
- Pin and software compatible with Sound Terminal family ICs
- PowerSSO 36-pin slug-down package supporting convenient low-cost system design

The STA350BW is in production now in the thermally enhanced Power SSO36 package, priced at $4.50 for orders of more than 1000 units. Alternative pricing options are available for larger quantities.

Audio Design with Sound Terminal ICs

Design support for the STA350BW, as well as other Sound Terminal family members, is provided through ST’s integrated development suite, APWorkbench. With intuitive graphical features that help engineers configure the IC, view internal registers and coefficients, and quickly recall memories, APWorkbench helps engineers to build their target system, and provides facilities to set up active sound shaping, equalization and speaker compensation.
About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2010, the Company’s net revenues were $10.35 billion. Further information on ST can be found at http://www.st.com.