NATIONAL Semiconductor, represented by Arrow Electronics , has announced technology that puts digital voice quality directly inside electret condenser microphones (ECMs).
Previously, the large size and high cost associated with this effort kept manufacturers from implementing digital voice technology in consumer products.
National overcame the size-and-cost barrier by putting the digital modulation and gain inside the microphone to dramatically improve sound quality.
By integrating several components and simplifying routing, National's "digital voice in a mic" technology reduces overall system cost and enables the smallest possible form factor.
The introduction of National's digital voice technology follows the company's recent announcement of its analogue "amp in a mic" products, the LMV1012 and LMV1014.
These products replaced the decades-old junction field effect transistor (JFET), dramatically improving audio performance and sensitivity in 2- and 3-wire ECMs.
Integrating digital output into the microphone is the next step in amplifier technology, delivering the world's first digital output capability to enable built-in gain inside 4-wire ECMs.
Applications using this technology are microphones in mobile handsets, PDAs and other portable microphone applications.
Integrating the digital output into the microphone improves signal integrity for ease of design with regard to RF immunity.
The end products developed using National's digital voice technology will be less sensitive to noise for ease of implementation, resulting in faster design cycle times.
With digital modulation integrated into the ECM, the base band partition is now optimised for better audio performance, consumer features, and lower overall system cost.