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Zetex DDFA audio amplifier rivals best from linear amps

LONDON — Zetex Semiconductors is demonstrating at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a Class Z chipset that uses direct digital feedback amplifier (DDFA) technology which the company says offers sound quality that rivals the best linear amplifiers.

The digital amplifier, comprising a multi-channel digital modulator and feedback processor, is based on Zetex Semiconductors’ Class Z DDFA architecture, and is targeted at home theatre, stereo hi-fi and active speaker applications to achieve THD+N performance levels of less than 0.004 percent and a dynamic range of 120dB.

The scalable amplifier architecture suits power levels from 100W up to 500W into 8 Ohms. Up to 8 single-ended or 4 bridge-tied load channels can be supported by a single modulator, with flexible combinations of modulator and feedback processor allowing a variety of channel counts to be implemented.

Unlike traditional linear solutions, Zetex (Oldham, England) says the Class Z device integrates the functions of DAC, DSP, pre-amp and power amp to simplify system design and reduce cost.

The company adds the power management features of the chipset’s DDFA architecture create an amplifier with exceptionally low output impedance, important in achieving tight bass control. It also provides an excellent PSRR so that audio performance is maintained without the need of an expensive highly regulated power supply.

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