NXP Semiconductors has just announced a new chip called the TFA9887. It combines a DSP, class-D amplifier, and DC-to-DC boost converter to enable the dinky little speakers in your smartphone or tablet to output sound that’s up to 5x louder than what they’re normally capable of delivering. What strange form of voodoo makes all this possible?
The engineering is best explained in the seven minute video below, but here’s the layman’s explanation: This new chip includes a sensor that tracks how the speaker is performing. The audio that’s outputted is tuned to the performance characteristics of the speaker in question. Instead of simply boosting the audio signal evenly, which could damage the speaker, NXP’s new chip makes sure that only the right frequencies are boosted. So when will we see smartphones on the market that use the TFA9887? That’s a good question. NXP says samples are immediately available, so our gut feeling is that you’ll have to wait until the second half of 2013 to see this chip in retail hardware.
We hope you guys realize that the creation of the TFA9887 has some extremely negative implications. Those assholes who forget to silence their phones during a movie? Their phone is going to be deafening. The people who ride the bus and let their phone ring and ring and ring because they don’t want to answer, they’re going to be up to 5x more irritating. And let’s not forget about the teenagers who think that they have the best taste in music. You’re going to be hearing the theme song to Jersey Shore and Teen Mom at volumes that might drive you to commit an act of murder.
All joking aside, we’re happy that NXP invented this chip because today’s phones aren’t as loud as the phones from a few years ago. Why? Because they’re ultra skinny, so you physically can’t shove better speakers in there.
[Via: All About Symbian]