STMicroelectronics has introduced the world’s first audio processor to incorporate the innovative HDR (High Dynamic Range) audio-signal acquisition technology. This highly integrated device combines all the leading-edge audio-processing technologies into a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use solution.
HDR signal acquisition allows digital signals with a dynamic range exceeding 130dB to be generated without the need for expensive, high-performance ADCs (Analog-to-Digital Converters). This technique, for which ST has a patent application pending, allows the STA311B to process sounds as low as a whisper or as high as jet engine noise with the same degree of clarity, delivering an unprecedented audio quality.
Housed in a compact 8.0x8.0x0.9mm VFQFPN package, the STA311B embeds eight audio-processing channels with up to 10 independent user-selectable biquadratic filters per channel, input and output mixing capabilities, multi-band dynamic range compression, advanced pop-free operation, auto-detection of input sampling frequency, input and output (pre- and post-processing) RMS (Root Mean Square) metering, ST’s proprietary FFXTM Pulse Width Modulation technology, and HDR acquisition inputs in a single device. This allows audio equipment and subsystem manufactures to reduce costs by developing multiple products based on the same design still tailored for a variety of price/performance scenarios.
The STA311B’s input/output RMS metering function delivers an increased level of safety to the final product without any additional hardware cost. Whereas previous solutions relied on using over-specified and more expensive speakers capable of sustaining high power peaks, the STA311B allows the application to suppress unwanted energy surges that could potentially damage the speakers. The STA311B’s pop-free circuitry also enables a seamless start-up, eliminating unwanted noise due to the bridge charge sequence in both Single-End and Bridge-Tied Load configurations.
The latest member of the well-established Sound Terminal® product family, the STA311B is fully supported by ST’s free APWorkbench software development tool that allows all ST audio products to be configured via an intuitive, user-friendly graphical interface (http://www.st.com/apworkbench). The APWorkbench dedicated e2e community forum is also available at https://my.st.com/public/STe2ecommunities/analog/Lists/APWorkbench/AllItems.aspx where interested users can exchange opinions, ask questions, propose new solutions, and much more.
The STA311B is available in volume and samples are available at $3.00 in 1Ku quantities.