LONDON – Fabless chip company Wolfson Microelectronics plc has announced the imminent availability of the WM5100 integrated circuit, which the company describes as the world's first audio system-on-a-chip.
The IC integrates a multi-channel transmit and receive path with noise cancellation and ambient noise cancellation and is intended to be designed into mobile handsets and tablet computers, Wolfson (Edinburgh, Scotland) said.
The chip features three 32-bit DSP cores for audio processing all designed by Wolfson, rather than licensed in, audio ADCs and DACs as well as speaker drivers up to 2W. The addition of the triple-cored DSP allows for a wide variety of use cases for the audio channels as may be found in increasingly capable smart mobile devices.
Prior to offering the WM5100 Wolfson could offer the same functionality but only with five chips – an audio hub, a separate DSP, a noice cancellation IC, Wolfson executives said.
The chip is implemented in a 0.18-micron CMOS manufacturing process but Wolfson executives declined to state at which foundry the chip would be made. Wolfson works with Globalfoundries, TSMC and Magnachip and although it tends to have a single lead foundry for any given device the company always as a alternate foundry to provide dual sourcing.
With environmental noise suppression, 5.1 virtual surround sound, and digital recording enhancement, the WM5100 also enables high definition audio capture and playback, the company said.
"As audio components in mobile phones and tablet PCs are increasingly becoming dis-integrated from the application processor, the demand is growing for separate Audio SoCs," said Duncan Macadie, product manager for audio hubs at Wolfson, in a statement.
The WM5100 will be available for sampling in the third quarter in a 155-ball CSP package and is priced at $6.20 in 1,000 unit quantities. Wolfson expects to provide the chip in millions of unit of quantities.
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