Lowest-noise class D/G amplifier enables placement in near-silent environments

Maxim Integrated Products has released the MAX98396 Class D/G speaker amplifier with what is claimed to be the industry’s lowest noise and lowest quiescent power consumption, offering nearly five times lower power than similar amplifiers. The 20V digital input audio power amplifier provides 12.7mW of quiescent power to satisfy and exceed the industry’s power compliance regulations, which support the always-on feature in portable Bluetooth and smart speakers. The device’s low 15.5uVrms noise floor is 50% lower than the closest competitor, enabling speaker placement in near-silent locations.

The device is the newest addition to the company’s portfolio of Class D/G amplifiers, providing the industry’s lowest noise, lowest power, and highest thermal efficiency necessitated by battery-powered Bluetooth and always-on smart speakers. The industry-leading power efficiency enables the speaker to be driven higher and longer before reaching the thermal limit. As well, it is ultrasound ready with 45kHz of bandwidth and a dedicated data path. This feature, coupled with AI software and ultrasound, allows touchless gesture sensing, presence detection and proximity sensing.

“As consumers embrace voice assistance in everyday life, speakers are proliferating throughout the connected home, and new use cases are driving the demand for higher audio performance and artificial intelligence-enabled smart speakers,” said Peter Cooney, SAR Insight and Consulting. “And as these modern devices continue to shrink in size, thermal management is becoming even more critical.”

“The MAX98396 Class D/G amplifier was designed to meet the needs of next-generation smart and wireless speakers,” said Kevin Ko, business manager of Mobile Audio Solutions at Maxim Integrated. “The high-resolution audio-compatible speaker amplifier features ultra-low noise performance, making it well-suited for placement bedside. Upgraded, ultrasound-ready features enable the newest trend of contactless smart speakers.”

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