"At ICEpower we believe in the power of music. In our daytime job we develop great performing audio solutions and power electronics. In our spare time most of us are hobby musicians and audio enthusiasts. Most importantly we share a common appreciation for great sound." This is one of the ways the ICEpower engineers like to promote themselves and pretty much serves to describe the foundation for the whole AS family of power amplifier modules.
In a time when active speakers are increasingly becoming the norm, from recording studios to live music to the home, the ICEpower 200AS2 amplifier module is able to support applications as diverse as a bass or guitar amplifier, all the way to a high-end amplifier component. "The benefits of active (self powered) speakers are many. Being able to tailor the amplifier and the signal processing to a particular acoustic design, rather than having to support any random speaker an end user might connect, provides many benefits. Besides the obvious advantage of removing lossy passive crossover filters, modern digital signal processing enables many improvements, like the ability to extend the low frequency capability of smaller enclosures, thereby “cheating” the traditional acoustic design equations," the company explains.
But active speakers come with their own set of challenges. Adding power electronics inside a compact, often wooden enclosure, demands a lot in terms of heat management and dissipation. Frequently, space is also at a premium. The ICEpower 200AS2 was specifically designed for enabling maximum output power - 2 x 215 W class D (4 Ω) - in small compact form factors with excellent sound quality. This has been achieved by utilizing a power supply capable of sustaining high continuous power levels at elevated ambient temperatures with minimal cooling needed.
In many designs, the 200AS2 avoids the need for fans, enabling quiet operation. This is an advantage in recording studios or in a home stereo environment where the user wants to be able to focus on the details of the music without a noisy fan blurring the picture. The 200AS2 module also features a capable 300 W fly back power supply, designed with universal mains and includes ErP and Energy Star compliant standby functionality, regulated auxiliary power supplies, wake on signal sense and a DC-bus output, short circuit and overcurrent protection. The DC-bus output is intended for powering a separate tweeter amplifier, for 3-way applications.
The length and width are just 158 mm and 77 mm, enabling it to fit on the backside of compact active speakers. The height is also limited to 36.5 mm, enabling the module to fit in simple 1RU rack amplifiers. And the 200AS2 module is, as all ICEpower modules, fully EMC and safety pre-approved.
Similar to the other modules in the ICEpower AS series, the 200AS2 has been designed for maximizing power, performance and reliability, while keeping the cost at a level that makes the technology available to a broad scope of applications. Besides the actual product cost, the 200AS2 has been designed with attention to cost through the entire product life cycle. For example, to speed up time-to-market and reduce the product development cost of manufacturers, ICEpower added all system and housekeeping functions onto the 200AS2 module. This means that manufacturers don’t need to spend time and money developing them on their own. The built-in Universal Mains power supply also eliminates the need to stock both 115 V and 230 V versions, thereby halving the necessary stock and saving money.
Utilizing the same topology as the existing 100AS1, 100AS2 and 200AS1 modules, the 200AS2 has the same input voltage sensitivity, simple mounting hole pattern, electrical interface and connectors. These features make it easy and convenient for manufacturers to create a series of products using the same power platform. The use of a regulated power supply topology ensures consistent power performance globally across both low and high mains.
"Reliability has been a critical focus in our 200AS2 development. This has been achieved through careful design, use of brand-name components, meticulous testing and burn-in in mass production. Like all other ICEpower products, the 200AS2 modules go through a comprehensive functional test before delivery to the customer," ICEpower states.