ESS Technology Announces Its Highest Performance Audio ADC Series

November 2 2020, 01:10
Audio semiconductor specialist ESS Technology announced a completely new series of SABRE PRO and SABRE Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) with an Ultra Low Noise Floor Bandwidth of 200kHz. According to the Californian company, the noise floor bandwidth on the new devices is up to 10 times wider than the competition, enabling higher resolution at higher sample rates. The two new SABRE PRO, and two new SABRE ADC devices set a new benchmark for audio performance with unmatched specifications and the highest sample rate available in the market.

The new ESS ES9842 PRO provides 4 channels of ADC with a DNR of 122dB and 116dB of THD+N, while the ES9822 PRO is a 2 channel ADC, with a DNR of 125dB and 117dB of THD+N, achieving the best per channel specification. As ESS details, when the ES9842 PRO’s 4 channels operate in parallel, as a mono channel ADC, they provide +128dB of dynamic range, a performance mark that is the best in the industry today.

The new SABRE PRO ADC also offers incredibly fast sample rates, handling PCM sampling rates up to 768kHz and DSD rates up to DSD512. Utilizing the optional RAW data output or custom Serial PCM interfaces, sample rates up to 24MHz are supported when combined with an FPGA. This allows for a highly customizable solution for the most demanding of systems.

As ESS also details, the new SABRE PRO ADCs are ideally matched with existing SABRE PRO DACs such as the ES9038PRO. "Together, these parts make the most acoustically transparent signal processing loop available. Outstanding acoustical performance is achieved with the use of pre-programed complimentary filters that are ideally matched to preserve the time-domain performance, and hence best imaging and most accurate signal preservation possible," the company states.
ESS ES9842 PRO Functional Block Diagram.
The SABRE PRO ADCs also uses the company's patented HyperStream-II modulator that allows for timing jitter to be pushed out of the audio range so the resulting soundstage is pure and consistent. Hyperstream-II technology also allows SABRE PRO ADCs to have a flat noise floor of 200kHz with more than 10dB lower distortion compared to other competing devices.

Additional features include a built-in Audio Signal Processor (ASP) that allows for 8 biquad filters that can be customized or used as RIAA filters without adding external components, together with a programmable digital high-pass filter to remove DC offset from the input, as well as S/PDIF output. The ADCs also feature an inter-channel gain mismatch of less than 0.5 dB, eliminating the need for external balancing and hand-trimming.

These powerful, cutting edge features make system design easier and more efficient, while the exceptional level of performance is combined with very low power consumption -he devices operate at less than 52mW per channel, lower than many competing solutions with significantly worse audio performance. 

The ES9840 and ES9820 SABRE ADCs share many of the features of the two new SABRE PRO series but are a more cost effective solution when absolute maximum performance is not required. According to ESS, these new SABRE PRO and SABRE ADCs are ideal for the most demanding of equipment, including audio mixing consoles, high-performance microphone preamplifiers, high-end audio equipment, samplers, audio processors and test equipment.

All devices are available in a 40 pin QFN package keeping the board space to a minimum. In addition, a full evaluation board and reference design are available.
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