TI’s six-channel digital amplifier chipset reduces DVD costs

Dallas — Promoting the transition from analog-based amplifiers and systems to digital, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) announced a six-channel digital amplifier chipset that it claims offers the highest channel density in the industry.

TI's TAS5186 single package, six-channel digital amplifier power stage is cost-optimized for 100 to 200 watt (W) applications, such as entry-level digital versatile disc (DVD) receivers and recorders. The company will be showcasing the new devices, along with its other home theater products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas (booth #8202).

The TAS5186 is the world's first single package six-channel digital amplifier power stage, according to TI. The amplifier offers five 30-W channels and one 60-W channel, providing more than 200 W in a single integrated device. It reduces component count; simplifying design and shrinking board size, as well as improving manufacturing logistics.

The TAS5186 provides a precharge feature that eliminates pops and clicks experienced on power up. It also will support TI's two-stage over-current detector, which manages over-currents, avoiding unnecessary shut downs and protecting against short circuit conditions. This feature allows the power stage to drive real world speakers with minimum audible artifacts during high power peaks in the audio source, while still protecting the power stage from high current conditions.

The companion TAS5086 is a cost-optimized digital audio pulse-width modulation (PWM) processor operating at 3.3 volts with a 100+dB dynamic range. It also offers bass management, as well as flexible signal routing capabilities, allowing designers to route any input channel to any output channel, easing the printed-circuit board trace routing.

“The cost pressures and footprint demands for the DVD receiver market are tremendous,” said Will Strauss, founder and principal analyst, Forward Concepts (Tempe, Ariz.). With the innovation behind the TAS5086 and TAS5186, TI continues to lead the transition from analog to digital, reducing system cost and design complexity while improving the overall listening experience, he added.

Analog Class AB amplifiers require an external digital-to-analog converter (D/A converter) to convert the digital signal back to analog before entering the amplifier. Digital amplifiers accept the digital signal directly, creating a 100% digital signal path that experiences no losses or noise pick up inherent in analog systems. With efficiency on the order of 90%, digital amplifiers reduce heat design issues compared to analog amplifiers, which typically have efficiency in the range of 50%. As a result, the TAS5186 does not require a large heat sink, enabling the design of slim profile receivers, an important feature to users.

“Putting this much power into a single package is a major technological achievement from TI's engineering design team,” says Jeff Akgul, director of home audio products at TI. With the TAS5086 and TAS5186 priced in the same range as Class AB amplifiers, TI can enable higher performing amplifier and receiver products with a much slimmer industrial design at the same price points.”

The TAS5086, TAS5186 and TAS5518 are all part of TI's PurePath Digital technology family of products, which allows consumer electronics manufacturers to build completely digital, end-to-end audio products with cutting-edge sound reproduction and the most lifelike sound in a compact form factor.

Currently sampling, both devices are expected to be available in volume production during this quarter. The TAS5086 is packaged in a 38-pin TSSOP package and priced at $1.59 each in 1,000-piece quantities, while the TAS5186 is packaged in a 44-pin HTSSOP package and priced at $5.12 each in similar quantities.

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