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July 8, 2009

STMicroelectronics debuts new IC

ESD-protection IC for music-phone headset interfaces

By CBR Staff Writer

STMicroelectronics, a supplier of semiconductors for consumer products, has introduced a new IC that reportedly delivers enhanced sound quality from portable music players and feature-phones, by excluding interference from cellphones.

According to the company, this new device is suited for the growing number of cellphones being integrated with music-playback capabilities. It will also protect other portable music devices against interference from nearby cellphones.

STMicroelectronics said that the new IC, EMIF04-EAR02M8, measuring 1.5 x 1.7mm, can replace a network of discrete components or two separate ICs, designed into the music player’s headset-connection circuitry, saving about 72% of pc-board space. High attenuation of signals, at frequencies from 900MHz to 1900MHz, allows using handsets for cellular standards, as well as multi-band products, without lengthy fine-tuning of each design.

The company noted that its filtering and protection IC provides circuits that are individually optimised for the earphone and microphone connections, which require different filter characteristics. The company has achieved this by combining its existing EMIF02-MIC03M6 and EMIF02-SPK02F2 for microphone and speaker interfaces, into a single integrated device.

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In addition, the new IC reportedly provides protection against electrostatic discharge (ESD), capable of damaging the handset’s internal components. By protecting against ESD spikes up to 30kV in direct contact with the signal connections, this new device is said to be effective than passive ESD-protection components.

The EMIF04-EAR02M8 is available in a micro-QFN 8-lead package, priced at $0.24 for orders over 10,000 units.

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