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Spatial array IC simplifies audio soundstage design for multi-speaker portable products

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 9:52am

Texas Instruments today introduced an integrated circuit (IC) that simplifies the design and programming of spatially-enhanced audio systems for multi-speaker portable products, including laptops, tablets, sound bars and sound docking stations. The National LM48901 quad Class D spatial array is the first in a family of innovative audio ICs that employ distributed sound processing coupled with loudspeaker array technology to produce an immersive audio experience for space-constrained applications. For more information and to order samples, visit www.ti.com/spatial-pr.

Tablets, for example, have wide-format screens that deliver impressive high-definition video, but the overall experience is hindered by their tightly spaced speakers that produce audio that is lacking in clarity and depth. They suffer from a limited soundstage, where multiple speakers sound like only one speaker because they are placed close together. The LM48901 and companion software tool solve this problem with easy-to-use audio effect programming that converts a small soundstage into an immersive sound experience that can be deployed across a manufacturer’s entire product portfolio, from tablets to sound bars with two to 16 speakers.

LM48901

Key features and benefits
• Complete audio solution: IC integrates a spatial processing DSP, four Class D amplifiers, 18-bit stereo analog-to-digital converter (ADC), phase-locked loop (PLL), and I2S and I2C interfaces.
• Simplified audio effect programming: Easy-to-use software tool speeds development by eliminating the need for algorithm tuning and in-house DSP experts.
• Immersive audio effect: Enables differentiated products that defy physical system size to provide an expanded soundstage superior to competitive solutions.
• Flexible multi-channel capability: Enables multiple LM48901’s to be daisy-chained to support up to 16 speaker channels and multiple subwoofer configurations.
• Integrated 2 W speaker drivers: Four Class D speaker drivers deliver 2 W per channel of continuous output power into a 4-Ohm load with less than 1-percent total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) to simplify system design and reduce bill of materials.

Tools and support
The LM48901’s web-based software tool includes an easy-to-use speaker array coefficient generator that creates unique spatial audio coefficients in a few easy steps. Also included are Android drivers with an application note, and an evaluation board with graphical user interface.

Availability, packaging and pricing
The LM48901 is available today in two package types: a 36-pin, 3.2-mm x 3.4-mm micro SMD, and a 32-pin 5-mm x 5-mm LLP. Suggested retail pricing is $2.50 in 1,000-unit quantities.

Learn more about TI’s audio portfolio by visiting the links below:
• Order LM48901 samples and evaluation modules: www.ti.com/lm48901-pr.  
• Watch a video that explains how spatial audio works: www.ti.com/spatialv-pr.
• Watch a video overview of the LM48901 and learn how easy it is to program: www.ti.com/spatialprgmv-pr.  
• See the TI audio portfolio: www.ti.com/audio-pr.
• Get technical support anytime and connect with other audio engineers on the TI E2E Community: www.ti.com/audioforum-pr.

www.ti.com

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