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Wolfson announces quad-core WM5110 audio chip for smartphones

Closes the gap to HiFi quality audio
Wed May 23 2012, 08:00

CHIP DESIGNER Wolfson has announced its WM5110 quad-core audio chip for high-end smartphones.

wolfson-wm5110Wolfson, which supplies audio chips in a vast array of smartphones and tablets along with HiFi equipment, has announced its first quad-core audio system-on-chip (SoC) dubbed the WM5110. The firm claims that the chip has a 110dB signal-to-noise ratio and the four cores clocked at 150MHz offer 600 MIPS of processing power using just 3mW power.

According to Wolfson the WM5110 has ambient noise cancellation and acoustic echo cancellation technologies that can reduce 32db and 20dB of noise and echo, respectively. The firm also released an accompanying software development kit that smartphone and tablet makers can use to apply their own 'audio signature' which Wolfson told The INQUIRER is part of what device builders are using to try to differentiate themselves.

Duncan Macadie, product line manager for Audio Hubs at Wolfson Microelectronics told The INQUIRER, "The WM5110 offers a significant step up in analogue performance, audio performance and audio processing capability while offering a step down in power consumption, so all the key things our tier-one customers are pushing. It closes the gap between the products we sell into the high-end HiFi and the products we sell into the low power handheld products. There has been in the past a gulf in performance between those two products, but they are really coming together as we see handset manufactures and tablet manufacturers deliver a true HiFi audio experience with their products."

Wolfson said SoC chip vendors are moving audio off the main application processor as process nodes shrink. The firm said it believes that as chip vendors such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia use smaller process nodes they will find that keeping high-quality audio on the same die will become increasingly harder, leading to growth in demand for increasingly complex audio chips.

Wolfson said its WM5110 audio chip is available for limited sampling now in the W-CSP package. µ


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