Amplifier Series: Powersoft OEM Power Amplifier Modules

August 2 2019, 09:10
Flexible Power for Active Systems

In this article in the Amplifier Series, where audioXpress explores the history, technological developments, and new generation products from some of the most innovative amplifier platform companies serving all segments of the audio industry, Ward Maas writes about Italian company Powersoft, focusing specifically on the brand’s OEM amplifier modules. And to demonstrate how easy and flexible the solutions that Powersoft offers are, he assembled a working system with a LiteMod 4HC module.

Powersoft’s story began in 1995 when the brothers Luca and Claudio Lastrucci, and their friend Antonio Peruch who, during the period that follows university studies, shared the two brothers love for music, technology, and innovation. They called their new company Powersoft, and in their kitchen, they began to modify amplifiers —a nd with their background in power electronics — design new ones from scratch. 

As switch mode power electronics started to become more common, they became interested in designing a Class-D amplifier. Not only did they succeed in making it work in a stable way, but also at high levels of power. Their first amplifier delivered 150 W. Ever since then, Powersoft has been focused on the high-power segment of the market.

The company also believed in active speakers and it was the first to develop Class-D amplifier modules that could be integrated into professional audio speakers. In the August 2014 issue of audioXpress, Stuart Yaniger looked in detail at the foundational amplifier technologies developed and perfected by Powersoft Audio and the unique company philosophy. In this highly recommended reading (click here to read it), the article details the company’s Power Factor Correction (PFC) technology integrated into switching mode power supplies and its Class-D Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) high-efficiency output stage. We are not going to repeat the detailed description of those technologies, shared by the company’s professional audio, installation, and touring amplifiers, and for this article, we will focus on the OEM modules.

Powersoft products are entirely made in Italy. Today, Powersoft counts more than 90 employees at its headquarters in Scandicci (Florence, Tuscany), engaging in research and development, technical assistance, marketing, sales, and logistics. The R&D lab by itself involves more than 30 employees with interdisciplinary skills, which explains a lot about the company’s pioneering innovations.

From its initial concept, every electronic project (which comprises PCB routing), mechanical project, firmware, signal processing algorithms, and software, everything is developed entirely within the head office premises, where all tests are also carried out — both for certification purposes and to assure proper operation of the products in the most demanding operating conditions. Powersoft, now a publicly traded company in Italy, also invests more than 10% of its turnover in the research and development of technologies applied to products and solutions dedicated to the pro-audio industry. And not only in amplification. 

In recent years, Powersoft has made significant inroads into innovative transducer technologies as well. As production also works closely with development, improvements deriving from market experience or from the results of research are easily implemented.

Three different production sites, focused on rack mount amplifiers and amp modules, are located respectively in S. Giovanni in Persiceto (Bologna), Ronchi dei Legionari (Gorizia), and Cotona in Italy, where around 100 people are employed. In line with the company values, these production sites make extensive use of solar energy. The entire production of Powersoft products is carried out using green energy — a trademark of its own technology efforts in amplification.

This article was originally published in audioxpress, July 2019.

Read the complete article here.
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