The chip promises a new level of integration to make superior class-D amplification more commercially viable on smaller form factors and lower tier products, helping manufacturers to create portable and power-efficient speakers that offer truly differentiated audio quality.
Rob Saunders, director of product marketing at Qualcomm Technologies. said: “CSRA6640 enhances our product portfolio with our proven DDFA technology to help bring high-end amplification to lower power applications. It makes the integration of complex, premium amp technology more commercially viable for the first time in small form-factor speakers, sound bars and amplifiers. This solution opens the door for OEMs to help them bring more power efficient amplification capabilities to more compact, cost-effective devices.”
Audio quality is becoming more important to the everyday consumer. According to Qualcomm’s State of Play audio consumer insights report, sound quality was by far the highest ranked buying consideration when choosing wireless headphones or speakers, with 76% of respondents noting it as the most important factor in their buying decision. In addition, almost half of consumers surveyed would like the ability to take a voice-enabled speaker outside and use it on-the-go, indicating a shift in consumer interest towards portability.
Bringing premium amplifier technology to more portable devices may help manufacturers to address consumer desires for loud audio and sound quality while also looking to meet needs for extended battery life and connectivity.
The chip is also designed to allow audio OEMs to optimize their materials costs by reducing the need for additional external components.
“This new amplifier offering builds on the rich legacy DDFA technology has with premium and high-end audio brands and we hope it will serve as a catalyst to propel audio performance forward in coming years,” said Saunders. “Building on more than ten years of R&D and proven solutions, this product is designed to almost perfectly balance the power efficiency of Class D devices alongside the high-performance audio output of traditional, linear amplifiers.”
Qualcomm produces chips for major brands like Samsung, LG, and Motorola handsets, so it is likely that this audio technology will be coming to the handsets of these companies.