Nuvoton Introduces First Chipcorder With Three-Channel Mixing Playback, Parallel Processing

14th September 2012
ES Admin
Nuvoton Technology Corp today introduced the ISD2360, the first ChipCorder device with three-channel mixing playback and general-purpose input/output (GPIO) parallel processing. Ideal for automotive, medical-alert, instrumentation and point-of-purchase applications, the ISD2360 enables louder speaker output (1.0W at 5V) than comparable devices and allows designs to use audio-grade digital playback of voice and/or music for up to 64 seconds—all without the need of a microcontroller.
Clear, high-grade audio and the ability to play it back efficiently has evolved from a luxury to the norm in a growing number of today’s consumer and industrial applications, said CS Lin, vice president of marketing at Nuvoton Technology Corporation America. While single-channel, shorter-duration audio playback is adequate for some of those applications, others are demanding longer, much-richer audio in order to both distinguish products and make them more robust. The ChipCorder ISD2360 satisfies this latter category, through its three-channel mixing playback, GPIO parallel processing, low power requirements, and high-level integration that combine to provide designers with a true single chip audio solution.”

With its ability to add background sounds to forefront audio, the three-channel mixing playback in the ISD2360 enables designs to feature a deeper, richer, multi-level sound experience, along with versatility in how audio is used. The device could be used, for example, in applications that require on-hold music and periodic spoken-word updates. Additionally, the ISD2360’s parallel GPIO allows designs to feature complementary effects, such as driving LED lights to complement an application’s audio, without the need for additional circuitry.

The ISD2360 reduces overall product costs and conserves designs’ “real estate” through its ability to operate independently of a microcontroller, along with its built-in digital compression, flash storage for non-volatile audio playback of up to 30 seconds, a speaker driver, and digital audio signal paths. Additionally, the very-low-power (less than 10 microamps), easily programmable device features a vastly improved sampling rate (up to 32Khz) and a higher signal-to-noise ratio (60dB) than previous-generation digital-audio ICs.

Acoustic Branding, Touch-Sensor Designs

As with other members of the ChipCorder® family, the ISD2360’s unprecedented blend of integration and programmability provides designers a cost-effective solution to distinguish their products with high-quality digital playback of audio-grade sound alerts and corporate audio-logo clips. Such “acoustic branding” has already taken hold across a range of markets to reinforce brand identity – from telematics such as navigation, radar, automotive and hands-free systems to medical and industrial uses like personal-emergency-response and warning devices, instrumentation systems, and vending machines. These markets represent the growing need for ways to efficiently convey targeted messages, tapping into users’ powerful sense of sound and memory.

The ISD2360 also complements the emerging use of touch sensors in industrial and consumer products. The device can be activated immediately by touch sensors, thus providing alerts or other audio feedback while the full system is waking up.

Integrated Design Requires No Microcontroller

Nuvoton engineers developed the ISD2360 to assure designers have a true single-chip solution for digital-audio playback of up to 64 seconds in applications where traditional external devices -- microcontrollers, flash memory, digital-to-analog converter, digital filters and speaker drivers – are impractical. The device still can be used in conjunction with a host microcontroller, though once the ISD2360 is programmed, there’s no need for microcontroller intervention, and the ISD2360’s array of memory-management features make audio playback transparent to a host controller. While the ISD2360 can be factory preprogrammed, it also may be programmed via its serial peripheral interface (SPI), in either the field or manufacturing.

The ISD2360, available in a QFN32 and SOP-16 green packaging, is sampling now, with production scheduled for Q3’2012, at $1.50 in volume quantities for the 60-second-duration version.

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