Conexant Introduces New Ultra Low-Power Class H, Audiophile-grade 2.8V Headphone Amplifier

Drives Premium and Standard Headphones with Matching Output Strength, Optimized Power Efficiency

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 6, 2013Conexant Systems Inc. today announced the CX3000, its new high-performance, ultra low-power, Class H headphone amplifier with I2C control. CX3000 is the first Class-H amplifier to drive up to 2.8V into matching high impedance headphones with 106dB SNR and 100+ dB THD. Additionally, it has an integrated impedance sense feature that enables dynamic power throttling to match different headphone transducers with the ideal drive strength and lowest power consumption. CX3000 is targeted to smartphones, music featured phones, PCs, portable media players, and audiophile-grade portable headphone amplifiers.

The rise of smartphones and the prevalence of digital media have combined to make premium headphones a must-have item for consumers. Audiophiles know that high-end headphones have long favored high impedance (32~600ohms). Higher impedance allows for more coil turning in the transducer, resulting in finer analog resolution for high fidelity sound. High impedance headphones also draw less current from the amplifier, resulting in less distortion. The standard integrated Class G headphone amplifier that is typical in today’s mobile devices lacks the headroom to drive such headphones, leading to poor sound quality. Conexant’s CX3000 is specifically designed to achieve adequate drive strength through an ultra-low power Class H architecture, meeting the needs of the premium mobile device market, which requires low-power consumption and audiophile audio quality. In addition, an integrated charge pump allows for direct connection to the headphone jack, eliminating DC blocking capacitors and reducing board area and BOM costs. In order to prevent clipping and maximize efficiency, the charge pump’s three operating modes (.5X, 1X and 2X) are based on amplifier signal amplitude.

“There is truly nothing like the CX3000 on the market today,” noted Jonathan Chien, executive director of marketing for Conexant’s audio product line. “Consumer expectations for today’s smartphones are extremely high – they demand the highest in audio quality, yet they also require a long battery life. The CX3000 is the only intelligent amplifier out there that fits the bill – driving premium and standard headphones with matching output strength and optimized power efficiency. It provides the best balance of peak drive strength and power consumption.”

Key features include:

  • 2.8V Peak Class H Amplifier
  • 106 dB SNR Class H Headphone Driver
  • Integrated impedance measurement for throttling different output levels
  • Noise gate removes idle channel noise
  • Wide input supply voltage range 1.71 ~ 3.6V
  • Longer battery life, <4uA standby power
  • Ground sense for minimizing crosstalk
  • Short circuit protection with auto-recovery
  • Integrated compression for avoiding hard clipping near full scale
  • Pops and clicks -70dB max across power state changes and gain/mute changes
  • Industrial temperature -40C to +85C
  • Tiny footprint of 1.61mm x 1.61mm WLCSP package

Conexant’s CX3000 is available now in a small, ROHS compliant, 16-ball WLCSP package. Pricing is $0.50 each in 50K quantities.

About Conexant

Conexant’s comprehensive portfolio of innovative semiconductor solutions includes products for imaging, audio, embedded modem, and video surveillance applications. Conexant is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif. To learn more, please visit www.conexant.com.



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