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Audio processing chip boosts performance from small, low-cost speakers

February 04, 2011 // Paul Buckley

Audio processing chip boosts performance from small, low-cost speakers

STMicroelectronics has unveiled an audio processing chip that connects directly to the latest miniature microphones and provides a new way of boosting performance from small, low-cost, or even damaged speakers. The device allows customers to deliver market-leading miniaturized audio products offering outstanding sound quality.


The new device, the STA321MP, joins ST’s SoundTerminal audio IC family, and features a built-in interface for a MEMS digital microphone as well as a standard microphone input. With tiny dimensions and low sensitivity to noise from LCDs and power components, MEMS microphones are ideal for multi-function products such as smartphones. The STA321MP permits direct connection of a MEMS microphone, saving parts count and cost.

In addition, the STA321MP has a second MEMS input that can be connected to a tiny sensor for detecting speaker movements. This allows designers to apply active-sound shaping using ST patented techniques to optimize speaker performance. In active-sound shaping, the processor compensates automatically for distortion or damage to the speaker enabling high-quality audio performance from over-driven speakers or from those with torn or restricted-movement cones.

As a third-generation SoundTerminal IC, the STA321MP delivers advanced features and performance. Support for designers includes complete development kits for MEMS-based systems, as well as the APWorkbench graphical development environment. APWorkbench helps designers configure Sound Terminal products intuitively, and includes features for setting up active sound shaping.


Availability and Pricing

The STA321MP is available now in a 7 x 7 mm QFN package, priced at $3.00 in quantities of 1000. Alternative pricing options are available for larger quantities.


Visit STMicroelectronics at www.st.com

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