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New Class-D1 Digital Power Amplifiers for Car Audio Systems


STMicrocelectronics Release the FDA801 Class-D1 Amplifiers with Purer, Clearer Sound to Drivers and Passengers


STMicroelectronics has released a second generation of power amplifiers that simplify design for car-radio system suppliers and deliver better listening experiences to drivers and passengers - even in smaller cars.

Click for Larger Image - New Class-D1 Digital Power Amplifiers with Cleaner Sound ST's new, second-generation FDA801 and FDA801B 4-channel class-D1 amplifiers with digital input convert the digital audio source directly into high-quality, cabin-filling sound. The digital input gives immunity to GSM noise, improves sound quality, saves component costs, and simplifies system design. ST introduced the world's first class-D digital-input automotive-audio amplifiers in 2012, and is now moving forward with its new and improved second generation that will be soon completed with pin-compatible ICs in various multi-channel configurations.

“Class-D amplifiers are revolutionizing in-car audio throughout the marketplace, from audiophile systems in prestige vehicles to affordable, high-quality sound in smaller cars,” said Alfio Russo, Group VP, General Manager Audio & Body Division, Automotive Product Group, STMicroelectronics. “ST continues to drive the pace of development, with these new chips setting even more advanced performance and efficiency benchmarks for the industry.”

ST's new power amplifiers combine superior audio quality and increased energy efficiency, as well as the unique real-time measurement of speaker impedance via the new Digital Impedance Meter (FDA801B), which represents a quantum leap in automotive diagnostics compared to any other audio amplifier.

Key to these enhancements is ST's advanced fabrication process, BCD9s, which minimizes interference between circuits on the chip, lowers standby-power consumption, and cuts power-transistor dissipation raising efficiency to more than 93%.

By dissipating less power, the FDA801/B can help boost fuel economy in conventional vehicles and extend the driving range of hybrids or battery EVs. Like their predecessors, ST's new amplifiers are compatible with fuel-saving start-stop technology, maintaining uninterrupted playback when the vehicle battery voltage dips as the engine is restarted.

The FDA801 and FDA801B are available immediately in the LQFP64 Exposed Pad Up package that allows efficient heatsink attachment.

Key Features of the FDA801

  • 115dB Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR); 110dB dynamic range
  • Simplified digital input eliminates external DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and external decoupling capacitor, thereby avoiding potential DC-offset problems
  • More than 40% power saving compared to standard class-D amplifiers
  • Digital Impedance Meter (DIM, in FDA801B) automatically recognizes magnitude and phase of the connected speaker and communicates it by digital bus (I2C)
  • Internal 24-bit DAC conversion and very low noise in line-driver and amplifier modes ensure superior audio performance
  • On-demand advanced diagnostics allows each channel to independently perform AC or DC diagnostics with configurable parameters
  • Ability to drive loads down to 1 ohm gives designers complete flexibility to specify preferred speakers

The company's Web site address is www.st.com.
[Reprinted with kind permission from STMicroelectronics - Release Date - 21st December, 2015]