As major consumer brands adopt class-D amplifiers to create slim-line televisions and home audio equipment delivering higher power output with audiophile sound quality, STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in audio IC technology, is giving designers a competitive edge with a new 50W+50W stereo class-D amplifier IC that achieves superior efficiency and requires fewer external components.
Joining ST’s family of analog-input class-D ICs, the TDA7492 expands the family at the high end. The family now includes 3W-, 5W-, 10W-, 20W-, 25W, and 50W-per-channel variants in pin-compatible packages that enable convenient scaling of designs to address multiple markets.
The TDA7492 is the first 50W+50W rated amplifier on the market to use the advanced sixth-generation BCD6S (Bipolar/CMOS/DMOS) process, which allows analog, logic, and high-voltage functions on a single chip. ST’s BCD6S process achieves higher operating efficiency per chip size than other class-D amplifiers, while simultaneously reducing crosstalk, leading to improved audio quality. In addition, BCD6S enables complementary NMOS and PMOS transistors in the high-power output circuitry, saving the external bootstrap capacitor and diode normally required by older processes. The approach simplifies design, saves pc-board space, and trims the bill of materials.
ST’s TDA7492 achieves low distortion (THD+N) of below 0.01%, to deliver a high-quality listening experience. Built-in output filtering minimizes the external audio-filter requirement, and standby and mute functions are also integrated. The IC is optimized for low EMI emissions, which further simplifies the design of class-D amplifiers delivering smaller size and greater audio power than conventional class-A/B circuits.
Other features include external synchronization, which allows high-performance, multi-channel class-D amplifiers combining several individual ICs. The thermally enhanced Power SSO-36 package has an exposed upper heat slug allowing convenient attachment of a simple heatsink.
The TDA7492 is in mass production, priced at $2.50 in quantities of 10,000 units.
About class-D amplifiers:
Class-D amplifiers use switched-mode operation to achieve around 90% efficiency, compared to the 50% efficiency typical of traditional class-A/B amplifiers. As the energy lost in the amplifier is dissipated as heat, a class-D amplifier operates cooler and therefore requires a smaller, lower-cost heatsink than a comparable class-A/B device. In some cases, it may require no heatsink at all. In addition, as the amplifier loses less power to achieve a given output, it allows use of a smaller power supply, thereby saving additional size, weight, and cost. Suppliers of high-quality audio equipment such as hi-fi amplifiers, MP3-player docking stations, home theater systems, and high-definition televisions are using class-D amplifiers to deliver ultra-thin and lightweight designs into highly competitive markets.
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 2008, the Company’s net revenues were $9.84 billion.
Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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