Dialog Semiconductor’s SmartBeat Audio IC Enables a New Immersive Headset Experience

May 12 2016, 03:10
Dialog Semiconductor announced the DA14195, an open audio platform IC for active headphones. The DA14195 offers a new route to next generation active headphone development. This end-to-end digital SoC with built in advanced audio processing heightens performance and defines a new standard for headset functionality and sound quality. Dialog Semiconductor’s new DA14195 combines extremely low power consumption with impressive processing performance in a small 0.4 mm pitch WLCSP package.

High end professional headset features for high volume consumer headset market are now possible with Dialog Semiconductor’s new SmartBeat DA14195 IS, featuring ambient and echo noise cancellation, virtual surround sound and voice control. It supports up to 6 microphones for beam forming, enabling innovative position-aware applications. The new DA14195 solution was introduced at CES ASIA 2016 (May 11-13), in Shanghai, China, together with other audio, power management and Bluetooth low energy based solutions from the company.

The SmartBeat DA14195 integrates a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller operating up to 165 MHz and C-programmable 32-bit Cadence (Tensilica) HiFi 3 DSP operating to 290 MHz. The combination creates a small, performance-optimized, low-power solution. The MCU speed can be scaled to further reduce power consumption and the DSP is supported by a wide range of 3rd-party audio algorithms.

With an integrated step-down converter, the DA14195 can be powered directly from USB, or by batteries ranging from 1.9 to 5 V. A high-precision fuel gauge maximizes battery lifetime and means users always know how much play time they have left. The DA14195’s shared memory architecture comprises onboard cache, system RAM and DSP RAM. For maximum design flexibility, the MCU code and DSP code is stored in external QSPI Flash memory so memory size and cost can be tailored to the application.

The DA14195 is an open audio platform that can be combined with any audio codec including Dialog’s DA7217. This advanced codec offers an outstanding power/ performance ratio and includes a voice trigger function that can monitor for voice commands before waking up the DA14195 to start command interpretation.

A modular and open software architecture ensures a highly versatile and easily extendible software platform. It provides all the building blocks needed plus the flexibility for designers to create their own unique solutions. Power management is a core component, while the flexible audio API facilitates setting up multiple streams independently. Software is available as source code, so can be fully customized.

“As the leading provider of professional wireless headset ICs, I am very pleased to now extend Dialog’s technology to offer these advanced features to the fast growing consumer headset market,“ says Sean McGrath, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Connectivity, Automotive & Industrial Business Group at Dialog. “Headsets based on the DA14195 will allow consumers using USB to connect at high speed to personal and online content libraries at data rates up to 480 Mbps. Additionally, the DA14195 is fully compatible with USB 3.0 type C, the next-generation smartphone and computing connectivity option.”

The DA14195 is sampling now in a small form factor 81-ball, 0.4mm wafer-level chip-scale package (WLSCP). It will be available in production quantities in the fourth quarter of this year.
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