ST claims first with digital-input car audio amp

An audio amplifier for in-car systems claimed to be the first with a direct digital input is the first member of a new family of automotive devices being rolled out by semiconductor supplier STMicroelectronics

The TDA7801 addresses the coming trend towards a fully digital head unit and sound systems by eliminating the need for signal conversion from a digital audio player. Advantage over existing analogue inputs and digital-analogue converters, ST says, include higher sound quality, better noise immunity, simpler system design and greater system reliability.

As well as boosting dynamic range and increasing signal-to-noise ratio from around 90dB to more than 105dB, the TDA7801 delivers intrinsically pop-free operation without clicks or noises during car battery transitions. Eliminating analogue lines also improves noise immunity, ST claims, so that the audible effects of cellular network interference are effectively cancelled.

The TDA7801 is the first product in a new digital automotive audio line from ST. Still to come a Class-SBi (ST’s patented efficiency class for the lowest power dissipation possible outside Class-D) version of the TDA7801 and a digital-input Class-D solution that will deliver further increase in power savings.

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