New Audio Amplifiers Deliver 90 Percent Power Efficiency for Automotive Audio Systems

DALLAS (January 5, 2006) - Ushering in a higher standard in car audio, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced its first digital amplifiers designed to meet the high reliability and unique requirements of the automotive market. The TAS5414 and TAS5424 Class D amplifiers introduce the power efficiency of digital amplification for automotive audio applications, such as head units and external amplifiers. (See www.ti.com/caraudio1.)

Specifically designed for the automotive market, the TAS5414 is a single -ended input amplifier and the TAS5424 has differential input, enabling it to achieve higher dynamic range performance in a challenging board signal routing environment. The two amplifiers let the designer select the optimum solution given their system performance and cost requirements.

The Unparalleled Efficiency

TI's new automotive digital amplifiers are ultra -efficient 4 -channel digital audio Class D amplifiers. At moderate power levels, Class A/B amplifiers provide at most 40 -50 percent efficiency (25 percent in some cases). With the TAS54x4 amplifiers, TI delivers 90 percent power efficiency at normal radio listening levels for automotive audio systems. Comparatively, two TAS54x4 amplifiers can provide eight channels of audio, while generating less heat than a 4 -channel Class A/B -based system, enabling a whole new class of cost -effective 8 -channel audio systems that are lighter, smaller and more power efficient than existing systems. In addition, TI's new digital amplifiers also can be used with 2 ohm speakers to offer twice the output power of an AB amplifier into 4 ohm speakers, while generating less heat.

EMI performance is very important in automotive applications to prevent interference with control systems. TI has proven EMI performance in home audio applications with its large portfolio of Class D amplifiers; however, these are not suitable for the automotive environment due to more stringent requirements. With these new automotive digital amplifiers, TI overcomes EMI at the source through innovative architecture and process advancements, such as an enhanced digital PWM topology, optimized gate drive technology and patented AM interference avoidance. These advancements make the TAS54x4 TI's first Class D amplifier to meet demanding automotive requirements, eliminating the need for expensive shielding and other EMI countermeasures, now making it possible for developers to bring the power advantages of digital amplification to automotive applications.

By reducing heat dissipation, the TAS54x4 needs only a thin heat sink to spread heat compared to the large heat sinks and fans Class A/B -based systems require. Radio head units with more functionality or more output channels can now be designed, eliminating the need for expensive external amplifiers and wire harnesses. The surface mount device (SMD) packages do not require mounting brackets and reduce the labor required to install and test these components. Additionally, on -chip diagnostics simplify radio installation by testing all speaker connections, including tweeters, or short circuits created on the assembly line.

"The significant improvement in power dissipation enabled by the TAS5414 and TAS5424 opens up entire new product categories for our customers," says Jeff Akgul, Digital Audio Business Manager, Texas Instruments. "The TAS54x4 digital amplifiers provide tremendous advantages to automotive manufacturers, as they deliver great sound quality, while minimizing heat generation."

High Reliability

The TAS5414 and TAS5424 are designed from the ground up to meet demanding automotive quality standards. Thorough simulation, exhaustive analysis and stress testing ensure that devices meet the defective parts per million (DPPM) requirements of automotive OEMs. TI's new automotive digital amplifiers are TS16949 certified, which is the highest standard for automotive quality and reliability. For an additional charge, TI also offers monitored burn -in during production to eliminate early life failures and improve reliability.

Availability, Packaging, and Pricing

Currently sampling, the TAS5414 and TAS5424 are expected to be available for volume production in late 2006 and are scheduled to be AEC Q100 qualified at that time. Pricing for TI's automotive digital amplifier packages is listed in the following table:

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