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MWC: NXP announces TFA9890 speaker driver to make mobiles twice as loud

Music at the back of the bus is about to get bassier
Mon Feb 25 2013, 10:00

BARCELONA: CHIPMAKER NXP Semiconductors is looking to improve smartphone audio with the launch of its TFA9890 speaker driver at Mobile World Congress (MWC), which it promises will make mobiles louder and bassier.

Whereas the company's last microspeakers could handle up to 2.6W, the firm's latest mobile speaker driver can pump out 4W of peak power into a standard smartphone speaker.

According to NXP, thanks to the driver's ability to provide nearly twice as much power into standard 8-ohm speakers, it will give smartphones sound output typically 6-12dB higher than last generation handsets.

In addition to increasing the speaker volume, the DC-to-DC converter's 9.5V boost voltage improves sound quality by increasing voltage headroom and eliminating amplifier clipping, NXP said.

Shawn Scarlett, director of mobile audio solutions at NXP gave The INQUIRER a demo of the new driver, comparing it to the audio output on the iPhone 5. Indeed, the TFA9890 offered a huge boost to the audio output, making music much louder, crisper and full of bass.

Scarlett said, "As handsets increasingly become multimedia devices, the message from consumers is loud and clear: Better sound quality can be the difference between a phone you tolerate and a phone you love.

"The commercial success of the TFA9887 audio IC we introduced last year has been game-changing - and with the TFA9890, we're raising the bar for sound quality from mobile devices."

NXP told the INQUIRER that the TFA9890 will start appearing in devices at mid-year, although it was unable to say which manufacturers it is working with. µ


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