Class D Audio

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Efficient Amplification of Audio Signals

Class D Audio amplifiers offer one major advantage, namely their efficiency. Whereas in Class A or Class B audio amplifiers the transistors operate in the linear range and thus not very efficient, in Class D amplifiers the signals are conducted to the transistors in a pulsed manner, so that these are either fully conductive or non-conductive.

This means that a Class D amplifier, also known as digital amplifiers can achieve an efficiency of up to 90% (compared to 20-50% for Class A and Class B). This means that less power dissipation is required, which means that the Class D topology allows the production of significantly smaller amplifiers, e.g. for mobile applications.

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How Class D Amplifiers Work

An analog input signal is converted into a sequence of pulses by a suitable method (e.g. PWM) in the class D amplifier. These are amplified by the transistors and must then to be smoothed by a low-pass filter. However, the technique of amplification using high-frequency pulses can lead to interference with other parts of the circuit, so that attention must be paid to good filtering and an optimized layout.

CODICO offers Class D Audio ICs in various performance levels, as mono or stereo, single-ended or asa BTL (bridge-tight-load) variant.

Manufacturers & Contacts

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Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (MPS) is amongst the globally leading suppliers in the power-management area. The broad portfolio contains eg DC/DC-converters and -modules, PMICs, battery-management-ICs, current-sensors, AC/DC-converter-ICs, motordrivers as well as angle-sensors and, newly added, even inductors for the DC/DC-converters.  Target markets are mainly industrial, automotive, telecom-infrastructure, cloud-computing and consumer-applications.

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