STMicroelectronics : Digital-input audio amp eliminates signal conversion

STMicroelectronics has introduced the world’s first car audio-amplifier with digital input. Direct connection to the digital audio player eliminates the need for signal conversion, resulting in higher sound quality, better noise immunity, simpler system design and greater system reliability.

The industry’s first automotive audio amplifier with digital input, ST’s TDA7801 addresses the coming trend towards a fully digital head unit and sound systems in the car, delivering numerous advantages over existing solutions that are based on analog inputs and digital-analog converters.

ST’s new power amplifier raises the bar in car-audio sound quality, in both dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio (from around 90dB to more than 105dB), and delivers intrinsically pop-free operation without clicks or noises during car battery transitions. The elimination of analog lines on the car-radio board also results in superb noise immunity, so that, for example, the audible effects of the cellular network interference are effectively cancelled.

The state-of-the-art manufacturing process used for the TDA7801 contributes to the reliability and robustness of the car-audio system, reducing warranty issues and failures in the field. In addition, the device comes complete with the most advanced built-in diagnostic features. First integrated in a power amplifier by ST in 2000 and now a de facto standard, the embedded diagnostics help improve the quality of the car-audio system, making it even more reliable and reducing warranty issues by registering any accidental misconnection that could damage the amplifier.

As important, ST’s fully digital audio power-amplifier design reduces the number of active and passive components, simplifying system design and delivering cost-savings at the system and manufacturing process levels.

The TDA7801 is the first member of ST’s new Digital Automotive Audio amplifier family. The Company is currently readying further additions to the family: a Class-SBi (ST’s patented efficiency class for the lowest power dissipation possible outside Class-D) version of the TDA7801 and a breakthrough digital-input Class-D solution that will deliver further increase in power savings.

The recognized leader in audio power amplifiers, ST currently commands 55% of the car audio power amplifier market.*

Samples of ST’s TDA7801 are available now, with volume production scheduled for Q2 2009. Unit pricing is $6 for 1000 pieces.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Company's net revenues were $10.0 billion.

Further information on ST can be found at

STMicroelectronics, Globe Park, Marlow, Bucks SL7 1YL

Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.

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