Electronic Design

DSP Offers Analog-Based Audio Solution

The TMS320DA250, the fourth-generation DSP created by Texas Instruments, enables up to 70 hours of Internet Audio playtime on only two AA batteries. This analog-based solution is expected to be used in consumer products by Christmas 2001.

TI says this programmable DSP balances powerful features with the lowest battery consumption on the market. Based on the TMS320C55x battery core, it extends battery life up to 50% to 70% longer than other DSPs. Initially delivered on a 0.17-µm process, it will drop to under 0.10 µm in late 2001, reducing power requirements by another 50%.

The DA250 offers the first dual multiply and accumulate chip (MAC) on a DSP for Internet Audio. TI claims this is the first chip for portable devices to embed USB capabilities. The integration of these features cuts manufacturers' cost, time-to-market, and device size.

This DSP supports Secure Digital (SD), Memory Stick, Compact Flash, Smart Media, and Multi-Media Card (MMC) devices. It's the first to offer SD, Memory Stick, and Liquid Audio Secure Portable Player Platform (SP3) security built-in, too. Direct connections to other media are supported, including CD-ROM, hard-disk drive, and SDRAM.

All of the most widely used digital audio formats are supported via simple software upgrades. These include MP3, Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Windows Media Audio (WMA), ePAC, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital 5.1, and QDesign QDX. Support for DRM technology from InterTrust, Microsoft, and Liquid Audio is included as well.

Software downloads will let Internet Audio player manufacturers update features and functions, supporting future product features and audio compression formats. Also, the chip's small size lets manufacturers design devices with extremely compact form factors.

The DA250 will cost $10 each in 250,000-unit quantities.

Texas Instruments Inc., 12500 TI Blvd., Dallas, TX 75243-4136; (800) 336-5236; www.ti.com.

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