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Audio System-On-A-Chip Arrives For Smartphones

Edinburgh, UK: According to Wolfson Microelectronics, its WM5100 IC is the world’s first audio system-on-a-chip (SoC). The SoC integrates a high-performance, low-power, multichannel audio hub, with full transmit path (Tx) noise cancellation, receive path (Rx) noise cancellation, and the company’s myZone adaptive ambient-noise-cancellation (ANC) technology, in one device. Target applications for the WM5100 include smartphones and tablet PCs.

“Our vision is to maximise the consumer experience for new use cases on smartphones,” says Andy Brannan, Wolfson’s chief commercial officer. “Our ANC allows consumers to hear and be heard when using the phone. But as well as being a great phone, consumers expect today’s smartphones to be content-consumption devices, raising the bar for how good the audio has to be. When watching video, the audio quality has to be congruent with the quality of the video.”

The WM5100, which enables simultaneous multiple use cases combined with sound enhancements, features a multicore programmable DSP for audio processing, noise-cancelling algorithms, and the ANC technology. Packing all of these features into one device reduces bill-of-materials cost and PCB area. The modular architecture design, software compatibility, and being agnostic to the different operating systems also speeds up design-in.

In addition to enhanced voice call quality, the WM5100 features full-duplex acoustic echo-cancellation (AEC) technology, which helps deliver crystal-clear natural-sounding conversation in hands-free and speaker modes. Environmental noise suppression, 5.1 virtual surroundsound, and digital-recording enhancement also enable HD audio capture and playback, which ensures that the audio quality in a mobile phone, tablet PC, or other handheld device matches that of the video and imaging quality.

Wolfson Microelectronics 

TAGS: Digital ICs
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