TI's New Digital Amplifiers

The next generation of home theater equipment is likely to be smaller and more efficient, thanks to recent developments in digital amplification at Texas Instruments.

On August 11, TI announced that Panasonic and Orient Power, a Hong Kong manufacturer, will be incorporating new digital audio amplifiers from TI in their next editions of home theater products. Featuring TI's "PurePath Digital" technology, the new TAS5112, a 50W stereo power stage, and TAS5111, a single-channel power stage with a high output of 70W, are claimed to offer the highest efficiency and power available in the manufacturing market.

TI's TAS5112 and TAS5111 are also claimed to offer the industry's widest dynamic range and exceptional sound fidelity, plus a higher level of integration, which simplifies system design. Systems that will benefit from the TAS5111 and TAS5112 devices include DVD and A/V receivers, mini/micro combos, digital TVs, and home theater-in-a-box products, the announcement stated.

Panasonic is using both the TAS5111 and TAS5112 in its new micro-DVD audio system (SC-DT310), enabling the audio signal to remain digital from the DVD to the speakers. for crisp and clear sound quality. The DT310 contains a DVD player, six speakers with DVD 5.1 front, dual and center channels, rear surround dual channels and a subwoofer. TI's digital audio amplifiers also appear in Panasonic's latest slim digital home theater receiver (SA-XR25). The six-channel XR25 is only 55mm tall, the smallest A/V receiver at its power range in the market.

"Panasonic chose TI's TAS5111 and TAS5112 to power its award-winning DT310 home theater system, because they enable exceptional sound quality," said Matsushita engineer Hirotaka Endo, senior staff engineer, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. "TI's digital audio technology enables us to pack the most power in a compact and stylish design, helping us to differentiate our audio products."

The TAS5112 dual-channel amplifier is capable of 50W into 6 ohms, and replaces two single-channel amps, simplifying the design, saving board space and lowering the manufacturer's cost per channel cost by roughly a third compared with previous generation devices. TI claims that the TAS5111 is the industry's first device to provide 70W, 4 ohms per channel at less than 0.2% THD+n, at efficiencies greater than 90%.

The new devices offer the industry's most efficient power stage, reducing heat loss to enable more compact systems by shrinking heatsink and power supply size, according to the TI announcement. The TAS5111 and TAS5112 digital audio amplifiers are available now in volume production. The TAS5111 is available in a 32-pin "PowerPad" high-temperature shrink small outline package (HTSSOP). The TAS5112 is available in a 56-pin "PowerPad" HTSSOP and also in a PSOP-3 package. Pricing in 1K quantities is $2.29 each for the TAS5111, $3.95 each for the TAS5112.