24-V power amplifier offers state-of-the-art audio performance to truck cabs and buses

September 27, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
STMicroelectronics has introduced the market’s most powerful and most simple-to-use audio power amplifier for commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses and agricultural vehicles, whose electrical systems run at 24 V rather than the 12 V used in cars.

The company claims the device is the world’s first audio amplifier that can drive the cabin loudspeakers directly, without any external components, in 24 V vehicles, confirming ST’s dedication to the heavy-vehicle segment.

Audio amplifiers used in automotive systems must be designed to withstand the demanding automotive environment, including a high level of electrical noise and the need to provide comprehensive protection against potential hazards such as short circuits, load dumps, and excessive chip temperature. Audio amplifiers for use in 12 V automotive systems have reached a high level of sophistication, but up till now audio equipment manufacturers have been unable to replicate this performance in 24 V systems without using external components that not only drive up the Bill of Materials cost, but can even compromise safety under certain conditions.

ST’s TDA7576B 24 V audio amplifier solves this problem. The device is built in a proven high-volume semiconductor manufacturing technology called BCD5 that allows a single chip to include both the power blocks and the signal management blocks - so there is no need to use a more expensive multi-chip approach - and it can sustain a peak supply voltage of 60 V without any damage. The most powerful audio power amplifier for 24 V systems available on the market, the TDA7576B has been designed with the same guidelines and care that ST uses for car radio audio power amplifiers, so the final user can enjoy the same high-quality audio as car drivers.

The TDA7576B audio amplifier expands ST’s dedicated portfolio of products for 24 V vehicles that includes recently announced chips for exterior and interior lighting.

Availability and Pricing

The TDA7576B is available now in a compact Multiwatt15 package at a price of $4 in quantities of 1,000 units.

Visit STMicroelectronics at www.st.com