TI launches family of spatial audio engines
The LM48901 is one of the first new products out of the acquisition of National Semiconductor deal and combines a dedicated head response transfer function (HRTF) engine with four 2W Class-D amplifiers. The part would drive four separate speakers to create a complex sound stage around a high end portable device. The chips can be easily linked to drive up to 16 separate speakers, allowing for 6.1 surround sound or higher.
The family was developed by the former National Semiconductor media lab in California and is being manufactured at the National fab in Maine.
Tablets have wide-format screens that deliver impressive high-definition video, but the overall experience is hindered by their tightly spaced speakers that produce audio that is lacking in clarity and depth. They suffer from a limited soundstage, where multiple speakers sound like only one speaker because they are placed close together.
The LM48901 and companion software tool solve this problem with easy-to-use audio effect programming that converts a small soundstage into an immersive sound experience that can be deployed across a manufacturer’s entire product portfolio, from tablets to sound bars with two to 16 speakers. A web-based software tool includes an easy-to-use speaker array coefficient generator that creates the spatial audio coefficients for the HRTF engine in a few steps. Also included are Android drivers with an application note, and an evaluation board with graphical user interface.
The Class D speaker drivers deliver 2 W per channel of continuous output power into a 4-Ohm load with less than 1-percent total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) to simplify system design and reduce bill of materials.
The $2.50 LM48901 is available in two package types: a 36-pin, 3.2-mm x 3.4-mm micro SMD, and a 32-pin 5-mm x 5-mm LLP.