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Audio and power management IC delivers longer battery life, lower cost

Edinburgh, UK — Wolfson Microelectronics plc has launched the latest addition to its AudioPlus Smart Power product line. The WM8400 combines a multimedia CODEC with integrated power management features to deliver a high-performance audio and mixing capability, longer battery life and reduced system cost for multimedia mobile handsets.

In addition to the multimedia CODEC, the WM8400 incorporates an on-chip FLL, two programmable 2-MHz DC-to-DC step-down (buck) converters and four low-dropout (LDO) regulators, housed in a compact 6 x 6-mm BGA package. Flexible hardware control enables the WM8400 to support the generic power management needs of leading multimedia companion processors. Compared to using separate CODEC and power management chips, which typically require two or more discrete components, the WM8400 can save up to 25 percent on the device's bill of materials (BOM) and up to 40 percent on the board footprint, according to Wolfson.

The WM8400 device's low-power audio CODEC delivers 98 dB SNR performance and supports the signal switching, audio conversion and voice mixing requirements of next-generation mobile phones. This enables designers to add new features and flexible end-user modes such as mobile TV while receiving a voice call. The digital core consumes less power than similar devices and can be as low as 5 mW during a voice call.

In addition, Class AB or Class D speaker driver operation is software selectable, allowing handset designers to deploy filterless Class D technology into a wider range of handheld form factors, where restrictions such as noise and interference previously demanded a Class AB driver topology. System designers may select the most appropriate mode of operation for the anticipated usage scenario, allowing battery life to be maximized

The WM8400 also includes a 1-W mono speaker driver. Low leakage, high PSRR and pop/click suppression enable direct battery connection for the speaker supply. Four headphone driver outputs support conventional, fully differential or cap-less drives. Multiple microphone or analog line inputs (mono or stereo, single-ended or differential) are supported and a programmable high-pass filter is provided to remove low-frequency noise from the input signal.

The digital audio interface supports most commonly used data formats and clocking schemes while time-division multiplexing and a DAC interface provide additional flexibility.

Wolfson will be demonstrating the WM8400 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 11-14, 2008.

Availability: The WM8400 is available for sampling now in a 105-pin, 6 x 6-mm BGA package. Evaluation boards with the Wolfson Interactive Setup and Configuration Environment (WISCE) are available. WISCE provides an interactive register map interface allowing control and overview of the device settings.

Product information: WM8400

Wolfson Microelectronics plc , www.wolfsonmicro.com

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