24-bit audio DAC delivers longer music playback

Geneva, Switzerland — STMicroelectronics has introduced a high-performance 24-bit audio digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that embeds the company's PTE Playback Time Extender processing scheme to reduce power consumption for longer music playback in mobile devices. The single-chip STw5210 audio solution also integrates power management circuitry, which simplifies design and enables a direct connection to the battery. Integrated power management also eliminates the need for an external voltage regulator.

Available in small TFBGA and VFQFPN packages, and soon in a tiny 2.6 x 2.6-mm WLCSP, the STw5210 provides a 103 dB signal-to-noise ratio through the whole audio path. The DAC, with line and headset outputs, meets the increasing demand for mobile music handsets to provide higher audio quality coupled with longer playing time.

Typically, an increase in quality means increased power consumption, due to the additional processing required, however, the STw5210 embeds a PTE block, allowing music to be played autonomously, driven by the phone's 32-kHz clock while the rest of the platform is switched into a power-saving state, said ST.

This translates into significantly lower power consumption, which increases battery life and playback time. For example, use of the chip could enable the doubling, or more, of the typical 10-hour music playback time currently available on cellular phones, said ST.

For more advanced multimedia smart phones, the STw5210 is a suitable match for ST's STn8810/8815 Nomadik multimedia processor family and its companion STw4810/4811 power management unit, as well as the TS4962 high-efficiency Class D audio power amplifier for loudspeaker outputs. The chip is also well-suited for any mobile music application based on competitive companion devices, but especially in mobile phone platforms where playback time is likely to see the greatest increase, said ST.

Pricing: $1.80 in quantities of 1,000.
Availability: Samples of the STw5210 are available now to lead customers, with volume production planned for March 2008. It is packaged in a 4 x 4 x 1.2-mm TFBGA40, with a 0.5-mm ball pitch, and a 7 x 7 x 1-mm QFN44, with a 0.5-mm pitch. A 2.6 x 2.6 x 0.6-mm WLCSP36 packaged version, with a 0.4-mm ball pitch, is planned for introduction in Q3 2008.
Datasheet: STw5210

STMicroelectronics , 1-781-861-2650,

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