Mobile chip handles music for longer battery life

z08066eJapan’s Oki Electric today announced the ML2650 headphone amplifier. It’ll basically offload music playback from your mobile phone or MP3 player’s main processor, which should result in lower power consumption.

That, in turn, should result in much longer battery life for portable devices that feature music playback.

The chip itself features “a highly efficient D-class amplifier equipped with a 64KB SRAM that temporarily saves music data.” It’s currently shipping in volume to manufacturers and sounds like it might be put to use as early as October.

Here’s the full release:

OKI Launches LSI to Enable Longer Music Playback for Mobile Phones

Low power consumption is achieved by embedding RAM and a D-class amplifier in the same package

TOKYO, September 8, 2008 — Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6703) today announced it will start volume shipment of a headphone amplifier LSI, the ML2650, from October 2008. This LSI enables battery-powered mobile phones to play back music with low-power consumption, which is achieved by a highly efficient D-class amplifier equipped with a 64KB SRAM that temporarily saves music data. In addition, the LSI comes in an ultra small package size of 2.54 mm x 2.70 mm.

Portable music players and mobile phones with music playback function are becoming complex, requiring CPUs to offer higher performance. However, when using such high-performance CPUs, a complex software process is necessary to reduce power consumption. Therefore, developers have been looking for an easier way to achieve low power consumption in such devices. One way to control power consumption is by pacing operation of the CPU, which is a method to forward music data processed on the CPU to RAM within the device, and put the CPU to rest or standby.

"OKI developed the ML2650, which includes a D-class headphone amplifier to connect with the external CPU, a 64KB SRAM, and a 16 bit stereo DA converter, all on a single chip that will help to reduce load from the CPU" said Hiroshi Enomoto, President of Silicon Solutions Company at OKI. "This LSI will enable mobile device/phone manufacturers to easily extend the music playback time. In addition, with the ultra small package size at 2.54 mm x 2.70 mm, it will contribute in smaller devices as it significantly reduces the packaging space."

Going forward, OKI will expands its sound LSI product lineup, and develop and sell LSIs that can playback rich sound through various applications.