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Wolfson announces new high-performance low power CODEC family

15th October 2009
ES Admin
Wolfson Microelectronics has announced the launch of a new family of low power CODECs designed to enhance the audio performance and extend the battery life of portable applications. The WM8944, WM8945, WM8946 and WM8948 are the latest additions to Wolfson's successful portfolio of low power CODECs, and are targeted at portable applications including digital still cameras, digital camcorders and voice recorders.
The WM8944 and WM8945 are mono low power CODECs, with a touch panel controller included in the WM8945, while the WM8946 and WM8948 are stereo low power CODECs, with the WM8948 featuring a touch panel controller. By incorporating these products, consumer electronics manufacturers can make an average saving of 50% on the board footprint in the areas of audio record and playback.

Among the key features of these products is Wolfson's innovative ReTune(tm) filter, which enables customers to improve the frequency characteristics of the device housing, microphone and speaker, and provides enhanced record and playback performance without requiring expensive hardware modifications.

The devices also provide a high level of feature integration including speaker, video and microphone amplifiers, and an LDO regulator, which simplify system design, increase noise immunity, lower BOM cost, and minimise the total footprint of the audio solution. An extensive range of audio enhancement features are also included to improve the sound quality during recording in portable devices, including Dynamic Range Control, a stereo-widening algorithm, five notch filters, five-band programmable equaliser, and programmable wind noise filter.

The products also include a digital microphone interface, enabling the transition to MEMS-based microphones with high noise immunity.

Software compatibility across the product family enables system designers to adopt a platform development approach for multiple models. For example, in digital still camera applications, the WM8944, WM8945, WM8946 and WM8948 enable system designers to simultaneously develop the audio solution for mono and stereo models, with and without touch panel control.

Duncan Macadie, Wolfson's Low Power Audio Product Line Manager said: With the WM8944, WM8945, WM8946 and WM8948, we are taking our industry-leading low power technology into markets where battery life and audio performance, especially recording quality, are critical. The flexibility of these products, combined with a significant level of feature integration, provides a compelling blend of cost-competitiveness and high audio performance in multiple usage scenarios, which are ideal for a wide range of handheld applications.

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