New high resolution audio SoC supports a variety of sound sources

14-11-2017 | ROHM Semiconductor | Semiconductors

ROHM has a new high resolution audio SoC designed to act as the ‘brain' in audio applications such as Bluetooth speakers, USB DACs, and mini/micro component systems by carrying out control and management of peripheral components and input/output I/F as well as enable playback of a wide range of audio sources.
In recent years, a variety of audio devices are required to faithfully reproduce information from different sound sources (media/music files) – not just high-resolution audio. However, in order to support a wide range of audio sources multiple media decoders are required (i.e. CD, USB, Bluetooth) along with additional peripheral components, leading to challenges relating to increased software complexity and development load.

For the audio sector the company not only offers general-purpose ICs such as op amps, but audio-related ICs as well, ranging from media decoders and speaker amps to sound processors. This time, they developed an audio SoC that acts as the ‘brain' of audio devices along with a reference design that improves audio quality for the entire system while minimising development load.

The BM94803AEKU integrates a processor chip with SDRAM featuring an optimised architecture that leverages software and circuit elements such as ASIC, MCU, and various media decoders on a single chip. The media decoder supports a wide range of audio sources, and utilising over 20 years’ of expertise allows the company to ensure stable playback of damaged CDs and even non-standard USB. In addition, SDRAM is built in that contributes to greater miniaturisation.

This SoC allowed the company to achieve what is claimed to be the industry's first high-resolution reference audio design. The design maximizes the performance of audio devices and peripheral applications by configuring their amp, CD driver, and other elements around the audio SoC. Furthermore, providing dedicated software enables rapid development of audio devices capable of stable playback of a wide range of audio sources, shortening development time considerably.

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