(Note: This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.)
NXT plc announced the strategic purchase of the intellectual property of Audium Semiconductor and associated assets. The company intends to use Audium integrated circuits to provide customers with complete audio platforms incorporating its proven Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) technology together with ultra-efficient power amplifiers.
NXT customers should then be able to create compact, USB-powered loudspeakers capable of delivering 25 Watts peak-per-channel. Balanced Mode Radiators combine NXT's flat panel expertise, and the desirable attributes of conventional speaker technology, in a single drive unit.
The result is a wide bandwidth, wide directivity speaker where no crossover components or frequency-specific drivers are required. Available in a range of compact form factors, acoustic engineers and designers benefit from the esoteric flexibility as the driver can be used as a cosmetic feature or hidden completely, in addition to cost savings delivered through fewer components.
The Audium amplifier chip can be 20 times more efficient than competing devices, thanks to patented techniques that minimize both fixed power losses and output-dependant variable power losses. The chips use power rail switching so that the amplifier operates efficiently from a low voltage supply most of the time but an on-chip DC-DC boost converter drives its output transistors on audio peaks. The amplifier chips include integral filtering, enabling them to be optimized for each application.
The combination of technologies could enable rapid development of compact, high-power, active loudspeakers. The audio signal and power will be driven from a single USB port with no other power source required.
In the first instance the Company is developing a reference platform design incorporating BMR drivers and the amplifier chips.
Visit NXT at www.nxtsound.com.