Asahi Kasei Microdevices Introduces Premium Audio Solutions at High End 2019 in Munich

April 12 2019, 00:45
Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation (AKM) will show its latest flagship Velvet Sound Verita AK4499 32-bit audio D/A Converter (DAC) at the High End 2019 show in Munich, Germany. A newly developed IC manufacturing process was adopted in this flagship DAC to deliver the best sound quality so far in the company's range of products, achieving -124dB THD+N and 140dB S/N. The AK4499 is also the first among AKM products to use a new current output architecture. AKM will also demonstrate its new ultra-low power HiFi D/A converters for Bluetooth headphones, AK4331 (stereo) and AK4332 (mono).

Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) has chosen the High End 2019 show in Munich (May 9-12) to introduce its latest generation of LSI (Large Scale Integration) solutions for high-resolution audio systems, the flagship Verita AK4499, which follows the prior generation flagship AK4497 DAC. This new 768kHz/32-bit 4ch audio D/A Converter (DAC) features the world's lowest THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise) value and the world’s highest signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), with up to 140 dB. This will be the first time the Japanese technology company will exhibit at this show in Europe, providing a unique opportunity to promote its latest generation technology, originally unveiled in Japan in December 2018.

A subsidiary of the Japanese technology group Asahi Kasei, AKM is increasingly strengthening its marketing activities outside Japan. The new flagship D/A converter from AKM's Velvet Sound family, the AK4499 IC (Integrated Circuit), was developed using a new manufacturing process and features a current output architecture, which allows manufacturers of audio devices to simply integrate the AK4499 to their systems. The Low Distortion Technology optimized for AKM's Current Output architecture enables the AK4499 to achieve the extraordinary level of -124dB THD+N, while 140dB DR and S/N is also achieved in mono mode.

AKM's Velvet Sound family of D/A, A/D as well as sampling rate converters for premium audio systems was originally introduced in 2014 to deliver an accurate reproduction of the original sound recording with an active and dynamic audio space philosophy. The new AK4497EQ chip uses the same dedicated LSI process and non-magnetic packaging technology for Premium Audio as the previous AK4497EQ developed for audio by AKM, which the company states allows a dramatic improvement of electrical margin and noise around low frequency ranges. The new AK4499 supports 768kHz maximum sampling frequency in PCM and up to 22.4MHz DSD and features 6 types of digital filters to adjust the sound. Engineering samples for the latest AK4499 DAC are already available, and mass production starts from May 2019.

Visitors to the Munich show will also have the opportunity to test the AK4431 stereo and AK4332 HiFi D/A converters for Bluetooth headphones, ensuring a high-quality sound with low power consumption. As more consumers switch to wireless Bluetooth headphones AKM is committed to improve also its high-resolution audio transmission technology. Following this trend, AKM has released the two new 32-bit DACs with a built-in headphone amplifier for personal audio devices.

Pulshut Ultrathin, Noise-Absorption Sheet
Another recent highlight from Asahi Kasei's materials division, is Pulshut, a thin, lightweight, and flexible non-magnetic sheet, that when used in audio electronic designs can provide effective isolation of broadband noise. According to the company, in a constant search to improve audio quality and signal integrity, Pulshut can replace traditional ferrite beads wrapped around cables, but due to its material properties can also be molded to shield entire enclosures of irregular dimensions.

This product was part of the company's presentations at CES 2019 and we have learned that it will not be demonstrated at the AKM booth during the High End 2019 show, but for audio developers interested, it is definitely an interesting solution to check-out.

In 1980 Miyazaki Electronics Co., Ltd founded as a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Corporation, started the hall sensor business. AKM today is part of the Asahi Kasei Group and is the world market leader for Hall elements and Hall effect ICs with a market share of more than 75 percent. With approximately 34,000 employees around the world, the Asahi Kasei Group is present in more than 100 countries. Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation (AKM) designs and manufactures CMOS mixed signal integrated circuits and magnetic sensors for applications including audio, multimedia, consumer electronics, industrial infrastructure, and telecommunications. Asahi Kasei Corporation is a globally active diversified technology company with operations in the Material, Homes, and Health Care business. |
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