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WM8903 Codec available from Caelera

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article image WM8903 Codec

Wolfson Microelectronics  has developed a platform, which delivers high performance audio at ultra low power levels.

The SmartDAC, Class W amplifier technology and SilentSwitch technologies were unveiled to coincide with the launch of Wolfson Microelectronics’ new WM8903 Codec.

When combined, these innovations deliver high performance audio and low power consumption, enabling portable device designers to take battery life to new levels. This proprietary new technology provides the foundation for Wolfson’s next generation of ultra low power audio devices.


Wolfson Microelectronics’ unique DAC capacitor switching architecture drives down the inherent DAC power consumption to ultra low levels. High PSRR means audio performance is maintained even when powered by noisy switched mode power supplies. This eliminates the need for a dedicated audio supply, meaning a smaller PCB footprint and lower bill of materials.

SmartDAC also includes a capability for programmable performance vs. power profiles, where fine grain control of power and audio performance give the system designer flexibility in meeting even demanding power budgets. SmartDAC delivers the Wolfson sound but at a whole new level of ultra low power consumption.

Class W adaptive dual drive headphone driver

Wolfson Class W amplifier technology contains an adaptive dual drive charge pump and DC servo architecture.

Designers no longer have to compromise on power consumption, board space or audio quality when using a ground referenced output driver. Evolved from Class G/H amplifier techniques, this innovative technology intelligently forecasts and optimises amplifier efficiency for ultra low power consumption in headphone playback mode based on music content signal levels. 

Wolfson Microelectronics' headphone driver technology offers a substantial reduction in overall power usage because headphone playback is a frequent usage mode.


Wolfson Microelectronics has enhanced its pop & click suppression functionality with clamp & sequencer technology. Unwanted noise at the headphone amplifier output is reduced during power-up and power-down by the use of sophisticated clamping circuitry, which holds the headphone output to ground during power up.

The sequencer technology integrated into SilentSwitch enables further advances in pop & click suppression during power up/power down. With the integrated register write sequencer, the audio path setup can be pre-loaded and executed by the control sequencer with programmable delay times to reduce common pops and clicks and enhance the listening experience. Furthermore, the sequencer also significantly reduces time to market by reducing software driver development time.

Peter Frith, CTO at Wolfson comments, “Wolfson Microelectronics is pushing the boundaries of world class audio and ultra low power consumption. Our next generation of devices, employing these innovative new technologies, will enable designers to enhance the user experience with high performance audio, while extending playback time to a whole new level.”

WM8903 Codec is available from Caelera .

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