Discrete and Power

Wolfson's success story began in the specialised world of high-end audio. We succeeded there because we are passionate about the listeners' experience.

For multimedia devices, audio is one of the most important product differentiators - it's also the most sensitive part of the design. Our audio engineering is world class, offering devices that satisfy demanding professional audio as well as consumer electronics applications.

Wolfson's unique audio architecture ensures a pure, natural sound that enables our customers to truly differentiate their products. Today's market trends for multimedia portable devices and broadband wireless technology clearly point to many exciting future product developments and in these, audio performance will continue to be a key end-market differentiator enabling exciting new user experiences.

Portable device designers are under intense pressure to deliver products which incorporate more high performance multimedia experiences into ever smaller forms with longer battery life - and for these new products to be delivered to the market fast. Many new capabilities within these devices, such as high fidelity loudspeaker-generated sound, rely upon increasingly sophisticated mixed-signal ICs working at the boundary between digital electronics and the analogue world.

At Wolfson, we believe that quality and performance should not be compromised simply because a product isn't plugged into the mains supply. Our products seek to improve performance, yet save space and power. Wolfson tackles this challenge head-on with devices that are designed to inherently use less power while delivering Wolfson performance audio and functionality. But we don't stop there; we are continually developing new ways to save power and give designers the edge through the latest low power amplifier technologies. These include the addition of innovations like switchable Class D speaker and headphone drivers, because every additional minute of battery life is precious.

In today's portable designs, power management is just as important. Power management that enables products with a rich consumer experience to be created, within power budgets, that would have been thought impossible just a few years ago. No matter how big or small the application, no matter how great the silicon content, a battery-powered device needs power management. The battery itself needs to be charged and managed and, to save power, elements of the application should be shut down when not in use.

These functions are inherently mixed-signal. Therefore mixed-signal and power management functions can represent a considerable proportion of the complexity - and the all-important power budget - of any system. That's why combining mixed-signal power management with audio makes sense, producing an optimised solution in terms of cost, size, power consumption and audio quality.

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