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Nordic nRF2460 Audio Streamer IC Delivers Power Optimization for Mono Wireless Audio App at Low Cost

Tue, 06/28/2011 - 5:00am
Ultra low power RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA announces the immediate availability of the new Nordic nRF2460 audio streamer IC that offers unique, class-leading power optimization and performance specifically for cost-sensitive battery-powered mono (single channel) wireless audio applications such as microphones (e.g. home karaoke and conference), subwoofers (home cinema), musical instruments (wireless audio adapters), and gaming (e.g. singing game mics).

Developed in close collaboration with premier digital audio converter specialist AKM Semiconductor, Inc., the Nordic nRF2460 delivers a unique combination of crystal clear uncompressed 16-bit PCM digital audio, audio latency as low as 22ms, a battery operating lifetime of up to 100-hours from two AAA prime cells, and low cost.

In operation, a 4Mbps 2.4GHz radio combined with an optimized adaptive frequency (AFH) hopping protocol and unique audio Quality of Service (QoS) engine enable the nRF2460 to maintain robust wireless audio co-existence, even in challenging RF environments that include other common 2.4GHz interference sources such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology. The nRF2460 includes smart retransmission of lost packets and minimal audible effects from lost data. The nRF2460's 4Mbps bandwidth also provides ample space to support an auxiliary wireless data channel for user control functions such as mute and volume up/down.

The nRF2460 is available in a compact 6 x 6mm QFN package and can operate with a single low cost 16MHz ±50ppm external crystal. I2S, SPI and I2C interfaces also provide seamless interfacing with external audio ADCs, DACs, and microcontrollers.

“With the nRF2460 we have taken a completely different route to other wireless audio solutions currently available on the market," explains Nordic's Product Manager, Thomas Embla Bonnerud. "Instead of trying to make a 'one size fits all' solution for the widest range of applications, we focused exclusively on delivering a cost and power optimized solution for wireless mono audio. The result of this a unique, class-leading, low power, low cost solution that sacrifices nothing in audio quality and co-existence performance in a number of popular applications."

Bonnerud continues: "This could not have been achieved without the close cooperation and audio expertise of AKM Semiconductor when developing and testing this product. Their insight into the fundamentals of preserving audio quality and understanding of the practical aspects when applying this to wireless audio was indispensable in the development of the unique AFH protocol and QoS engine embedded into the new nRF2460 chip.”

"We have tested a wide range of wireless mono audio solutions from different vendors and nothing so far comes close the quality and performance achieved by the Nordic nRF2460 audio streamer chip," adds Richard Kulavik, Director of Applications and Marketing at AKM Semiconductor.

The nRF2460 is sampling today and priced at USD $1.50 in 10k shipments. Also available today is the Nordic nRFgo-compatible nRF2460-DK development kit (priced at USD $99) that enables engineers to quickly evaluate, test, and prototype a wireless audio application based on the nRF2460.

About AKM Semiconductor
http://www.akm.com

About Nordic Semiconductor ASA
http://tinyurl.com/6zhh7ay
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