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Intel Capital invests in audio for use in ultrabooks

May 30, 2012 // EE Times

Intel Capital invests in audio for use in ultrabooks

Intel Capital has invested an undisclosed sum of money in Trigence Semiconductor Inc., to help expand use of its Dnote audio technology in computers based on Intel processors.

The Dnote technology uses digital signals to directly drive an analog multiple moving coil speaker. Trigence's technology has been licensed to Japanese car-audio and amusement game manufacturers and the company also sells DSP chips that implement the Dnote technology.

Trigence said in a statement that money from Intel Capital would used to "expand integration of Dnote to computing devices, including Intel Architecture-based PCs, Ultrabook, and smartphones," and the company added that it expects to expand both its LSI sales and licensing businesses as a result.

Trigence (Tokyo, Japan), founded in February 2006, has expertise in mixed-signal circuits for analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion and for high-speed interfaces. The company has developed digital audio technology for use in consumer electronics, personal computer and automotive applications. The company claims that Dnote, its proprietary DSP technology, enables reduced power consumption and higher quality audio through its method of digitally driving analog speakers.

The company was founded by Akira Yasuda, who serves as president and CEO; Jun-ichi Okamura, CTO; and Yuichiro Takahashi, patent attorney and professor at Keio University.

"Audio technology is evolving substantially, as a new user interface for computers. We think it will become a key aspect of communication between computers and people, as an interactive user interface using speech recognition, rather than just for listening to music," said Yasuda, in a statement. "With the new investment, we aim to step up our licensing of technology for computing devices, and to substantially reinforce our business infrastructure by starting volume production of chips."

"We expect this technology will bring an innovative high fidelity experience to the wide variety of digital devices such as PCs, Ultrabook and smartphones," said Kazumasa Yoshida, president of Intel KK.

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