News & Analysis

NXP and Dirac announce expanded partnership at CES

9th January 2023
Beth Floyd

Swedish sound pioneer Dirac announced an expanded collaboration with NXP Semiconductors to now combine Dirac’s digital audio solutions for entry-level vehicle sound systems with NXP’s SAF4000 multi-standard software defined radio processors.

Through this collaboration, automakers can now more easily, cost-efficiently, and consistently digitally upgrade the performance of entry-level sound systems, which are typically those supplied in cars utilising up to 9 speakers.

The collaboration, which now includes both NXP’s SAF4000 radio and audio solution and i.MX 8 series applications processors, will also enable the companies to more effectively scale their bundled solution to reach more automakers worldwide. The announcement was made at CES 2023, from January 5-8, at Dirac Booth #6677 in the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Premium in-car audio is increasingly in demand – no longer just in high-end luxury vehicles but in all vehicles, across all makes, models, and classes,” stated Lars Carlsson, Dirac’s Vice President and Head of Business Development Automotive Audio. “Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo meet this demand with solutions that leverage our 20+ years of experience in the high-end market that is now tailored for entry-level sound systems. Continued collaboration with NXP, a world leader in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications, helps us deliver on our mission to bring our renowned audio innovations from the few to the many by equipping entry-level systems with optimised audio experiences.”

Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo include patented digital sound optimisation and spatialisation technologies, including measurement-based magnitude response correction, virtual bass, and virtual centre – to tackle common acoustic challenges like negative car cabin impact, unbalanced soundstage, and lack of immersion. 

By leveraging key technologies, Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo, now compatible with NXP’s SAF4000 radio and audio solutions, can help manufacturers to deliver optimised acoustic performance and immersive sound experiences – all without any expensive hardware upgrades.

The two solutions are built upon an all-in-one intelligent audio platform consisting of a measurement system, tuning tools, sound optimisation algorithms, and a hardware interface platform that – together – enables manufacturers to achieve perfected sound faster, more easily, and consistently across vehicle models.

The intelligent audio platform features a semi-automatic tuning system based on scientific measurements that optimises performance and delivers signature sound in a way that is highly efficient, consistent, and predictable.

“Our automotive customers are increasingly seeking ways to differentiate their vehicles through premium, high-quality audio as in-car infotainment becomes a major priority for both drivers and passengers alike. At the same time, design simplification and BoM cost saving are of highest priority,” stated Lars Boysen, Senior Director Product Marketing at NXP. “Our expanded collaboration with Dirac to offer Dirac Opteo and Dirac Virtuo on our SAF4000 high-performance radio & audio IC allows us to reach more automakers with a joint solution that equips any car, regardless of its class or speaker system, with a hugely impressive audio experience.”

The SAF4000 utilises a state-of-the-art audio DSP processing core together with a fully integrated software defined wideband radio solution capable of covering all global broadcast audio standards, including AM/FM, DAB(+), DRM(+) and HD-Radio. The SAF4000 simplifies the development of high-performance infotainment platforms as it replaces today’s multi-chip solution with a single ultra-compact RFCMOS device combining radio and audio IC as one high-performance system solution.

Dirac’s automotive audio solutions are currently used by automotive brands Rolls Royce, Volvo, Polestar, BMW, NIO, and BYD, amongst many others.

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