Wolfson audio codec aimed at handheld multimedia applications

Edinburgh, UK — Wolfson Microelectronics plc announced a line of audio codec chips that feature enhanced audio processing, a video buffer and a powerful speaker driver.

Two of the new Wolfson audio codec devices, the stereo WM8980 and the mono WM8982, feature a video buffer to allow direct connection to a television set for display of images. This feature, which is increasingly popular in a wide range of portable devices offering image-based as well as audio functions, previously required an external video op-amp. The third device, the WM8978, is a full-featured stereo version of the WM8974 introduced in October 2004.

“Growing consumer demand for a high quality audio experience from still and video cameras, MP3 players, portable DVD players, portable multimedia players and multimedia mobile phones has led us to expand our range of audio codecs for handheld systems,” said Julian Hayes, vice president of marketing for Wolfson.

The video buffer is designed to support both AC or DC coupled video connections and provides high quality video reproduction with an optional 6dB gain and 3rd order low pass filter architecture. With the current mode design, it eliminates the need for sag correction and large DC blocking capacitors.

The three new products feature digital signal processing (DSP) cores to filter wind noise and improve audio recording especially in video systems, a five-band equalizer with 3D audio enhancement to improve audio output and a programmable notch filter to eliminate zoom and focus motor noise. The devices also include integrated phase-locked loop (PLLs) supporting a frequency range from 12 to 19 MHz. Integrated support for a differential or single-ended microphone and drivers for speakers and headphones further reduce component count in the final system.

The three codecs produce up to 900 mW of speaker power for high quality sound and are capable of driving piezo speakers. A digital playback limiter prevents excessive speaker output. The devices operate at power supplies as low as 2.5 V for analog and 1.62 V for the digital core.

The WM8978 and WM8982 both come in a 32-pin QFN package and are priced at $3.85 and $2.10 respectively in 10,000s. The WM8980 is available in 40-pin QFN package and is $4.50 in same quantities.

For more information, please call (858) 676-5090 or visit:

Click here for additional technical information on the WM8980, including a block diagram.

Click here for more technical information, including a block diagram of the WM8978.

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