STMicroelectronics Rolls Out STA339BWS Audio Processing, Amplifier IC

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leading supplier of digital audio ICs, has introduced a combined audio processing and amplifier chip with enhanced features to increase performance from compact home-audio equipment. The STA339BWS is optimized for applications using small, low-cost speakers, such as flat-panel TVs and docking stations.

Digital audio techniques, such as signal processing and class-D power amplifiers, enable smaller systems to deliver high-quality room-filling sound that would be impossible with traditional hi-fi technologies. However, manufacturers are under constant pressure to deliver improved listening experiences from ever smaller and lower-cost equipment. ST’s Sound Terminal(TM) digital audio ICs answer these challenges using techniques such as Full Flexible Amplification (FFX) enabling a fully digital stream from sound source to loudspeaker. In the application, this produces improved audio performance, reduced cost, and smaller size.

As the latest addition to the Sound Terminal family, the STA339BWS combines IP from ST’s audio processing and class-D power amplifier ICs into a single chip, and includes advanced features such as MultiBand Dynamic Range Compression (DRC). DRC uses the latest sound-processing algorithms to enhance the performance of low-cost speakers, and also prevents large bass signals from causing vibrations and damaging small speaker units. Other important features include a seven-band equalizer. By offering two more bi-quads than common five-band equalizers, the STA339BWS improves speaker response and shaping of sound effects. A further advantage is continuous audio streaming when changing channels or audio sources, which saves muting the output to suppress noise during each transition. The output is configurable to deliver 2x20W stereo into 8-Ohm speakers or 2.1 channels at 2x10W plus 20W. This flexibility allows one hardware platform to serve several different products.

“The STA339BWS is the industry’s first single-chip device to include audio power amplification and advanced DSP processing features such as MultiBand DRC,” said Andrea Onetti, General Manager of ST’s Audio Division. “This powerful addition to the Sound Terminal family of digital audio ICs brings new functionality and higher performance, and delivers it in a smaller package, making it possible for leading home-entertainment equipment manufacturers to deliver best-in-class audio experiences for consumers.”

By combining functions that previously required a multi-chip solution into a single device, the STA339BWS simplifies product design and assembly. The new IC is also pin-compatible with existing Sound Terminal ICs for flat-panel TVs, enabling easy design-in to next-generation products. Its high level of integration, compact footprint, and high audio performance also benefit products such as docking stations and mid-power home audio equipment.

The STA339BWS is delivered in a compact PowerSSO-36 package, and is priced at $2.50 in quantities of 10,000 units.

About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Company’s net revenues were $10 billion.