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Wolfson Launches New Audio CODEC for Consumer Electronics

Offers the ability to simultaneously set independent audio sample rates on ADC and DAC (May 25, 2005)

Wolfson Microelectronics plc has launched a new stereo audio CODEC with the ability to operate the ADC and DAC at different sample rates simultaneously, making it ideal for use in DVD-RW, LCD TV, and similar consumer electronics applications, where the end user requires to simultaneously play and record DVD or television content.

This feature of the Wolfson WM8591 CODEC allows a single small CODEC chip to be used in place of two separate ADC and DAC devices, offering designers the potential to save component cost, external component count and PCB area over existing solutions.

The WM8591 also includes an analog programmable gain amplifier (PGA). The PGA can be used to adjust the sensitivity of analog inputs ensuring that recording levels are consistent, and also used as a limiter to avoid analog input overload distortion.

The WM8591 is a single-ended input, 2-wire control version of the WM8590 with an impressive DAC Signal-Noise Ratio (SNR) of 110dB combined with a 102dB ADC. Unlike many conventional solutions, which require multiple control systems, this single 2-wire interface offers access to all features including volume control and mute and de-emphasis facilities, significantly reducing design time. The single-ended inputs to the ADC and differential outputs from the DAC further support designers in achieving high performance with reduced system complexity.

Like the WM8590, the new WM8591 is based on a 24-bit sigma-delta ADC with programmable input gain and limiter control. Analog gain can be adjusted from +24 to 21dB in 0.5dB steps, whilst digital gain can be programmed from 21.5dB to 103dB, also in 0.5dB steps. Output word lengths from 16 to 32 bits are supported, along with sampling rates from 32 to 96 kHz. The devices audio data interface supports I2S, left-justified, right-justified and DSP formats. The DAC supports sampling rates from 32 to 192 kHz, which can be programmed independently of the ADC sample rate.

Price and Availability
The Wolfson WM8591 is available to sample now and will be available in volume in Q4. Pricing is $1.45 in volumes of 10,000.

About Wolfson Microelectronics
Wolfson Microelectronics plc (LSE: WLF.L) is an award winning, fabless semiconductor company based in Edinburgh, UK. Wolfson develops and markets high performance mixed signal semiconductors for multimedia and communications applications worldwide. The company currently has sales offices in the USA, Japan, China, Korea and Singapore. For further information please contact:

For more information about Wolfson Microelectronics products and services in the US, Call: (858) 676 5090. For additional information, visit:


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Related Keywords:Wolfson, Wolfson Microelectronics, CODEC, ADC, DAC, WM8591, programmable gain amplifier, WM8590,


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