STMicroelectronics has introduced a simple-to-use audio power amplifier for commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses and agricultural vehicles, whose electrical systems run at 24 V rather than the 12 V used in cars. According to ST it is the world’s first audio amplifier that can drive the cabin loudspeakers directly, without any external components, in 24V vehicles.
“Millions of drivers of trucks and other heavy vehicles often have to drive long distances with no one else in the cab for company. High-quality audio can help them stay relaxed and focused, but up till now they have usually had to settle for less than the best,” said Luca Celant, Audio & Power Marketing Director, ST’s Automotive Product Group. “Leveraging our leadership in automotive audio power amplifiers, we have developed what we believe is a unique product that will allow them to enjoy the same audio experience that people expect in the latest cars.”
Audio amplifiers used in automotive systems must be designed to withstand a demanding environment, including a high level of electrical noise and the need to provide comprehensive protection against potential hazards such as short circuits, load dumps, and excessive chip temperature. Audio amplifiers for use in 12V automotive systems have reached a very high level of sophistication, but up until now audio equipment manufacturers have been unable to replicate this performance in 24V systems without using external components that not only drive up the Bill of Materials cost, but can even compromise safety under certain conditions.
The TDA7576B 24V audio amplifier looks to solve this problem. It is built in a proven high-volume semiconductor manufacturing technology called BCD5 that allows a single chip to include both the power blocks and the signal management blocks – so there is no need to use a more expensive multi-chip approach – and it can sustain a peak supply voltage of 60 V without any damage. The audio power amplifier for 24V systems is believed to be the most powerful currently available on the market, and the TDA7576B has been designed with the same guidelines that ST uses for car radio audio power amplifiers.
The TDA7576B audio amplifier expands the company”s dedicated portfolio of products for 24V vehicles that includes recently announced chips for exterior and interior lighting.