LONDON – Analog and mixed-signal fabless chip company NeoEnergy Microelectronics Inc. (Chupei, Taiwan) has developed a Class-D audio power amplifier for the consumer electronics market. Typical applications will include digital televisions, computer monitors, and games consoles, the company said.
The NE3201 is a characterized by low radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference (RFI/EMI), which allows the omission of traditional LC filters even for speaker cable runs of longer than one meter, the company said.
The RFI/EMI is typically 10dB lower than devices of competitors and is achieved through the use of a proprietary pulse width modulation (PWM) algorithm that eliminates the radiations associated with common-mode switching signals. The NE3201 features a proprietary 24-bit DSP engine to perform tasks such as dynamic range control (DRC), speaker equalizer (EQ), and common-mode noise reduction.
The NE3201 is the industry's first "True filter-less" Class-D amplifier with 24-V, 20-watt per channel outputs. By eliminating the LC filters, the bill of materials cost and space can be reduced and the reduced height means that this space saving is especially valuable to modern televisions with thin profiles.
NE3201 allows removal of inductors saving real-estate, height, BOM costs
Close up of NE3201 on-board audio module board. Source: NeoEnergy
NE3201 is manufactured using an advanced BCD process, although Jackson Hu, chairman and CEO of NeoEnergy, declined to reveal details of the process or the foundry that has been contracted to manufacture it. The chip is housed in a 48-pin TQFP package. It is available as engineering samples with volume production scheduled to follow in the second half of 2012.
The company was founded in 2009 and is a subsidiary of Delta Electronics Inc., a supplier of power supplies. During the last two years NEM has developed a series of PWM controller ICs and PWM converters for ac-dc and dc-dc conversion products.
The company is led by Hu, former chairman and CEO of United Microelectronics Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and Wei-Chan Hsu, senior vice president of R&D. The two executives have worked together at a number of companies since 1993 and this is their third startup together, Hu said.
NEM has 35 employees and is looking to expand its offering in power –efficient mixed-signal ICs and power management ICs. "We will hire to support growth," said Hu.