STMicroelectronics is pioneering a new generation of chips that allow in-car entertainment equipment to operate without interruption as the engine is turned off and restarted.
The first of these is the TDA7850LV, a 4x50W audio power amplifier that is the very first start/stop-compatible IC of its kind in production.
In cars fitted with start/stop, the supply voltage for on-board electrical equipment can fall to as low as 6V when the engine is turned off and restarted and only the battery is supplying electrical power.
In addition, switching between battery power and alternator power can generate ‘pop and click’ noise. Left unaddressed, these effects can cause noticeable distortion in the audio system’s output.
Hybrid-electric vehicles present similar challenges to electronic equipment designers.
Discrete components external to the audio power amplifier can be used to build circuitry to regulate the supply voltage and suppress pop and click noises.
However, these circuits complicate design and add significantly to bill-of-materials costs.
ST’s TDA7850LV audio power amplifier makes the use of all these components unnecessary and therefore simplifies design, reduces cost, and saves pc-board space.
ST is building a complete family of start/stop audio power amplifiers that will include entry-level class-AB amplifiers, complex digital devices with diagnostic features, and an automotive class-D family offering outstanding power efficiency.