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Cirrus Logic joins Intel & Microsoft in immersive audio laptop venture
Wed, 7th Feb 2024

Cirrus Logic today announced a collaboration with tech giants Intel and Microsoft on a new PC reference design that aims to create richer, more immersive audio experiences for laptops while reducing heat generation, extending battery life and supporting thinner, more compact designs. This collaboration will feature Cirrus Logic’s leading audio and power technologies alongside Intel’s forthcoming client processor optimistically code-named "Lunar Lake".

The brainstormed reference design integrates the Cirrus Logic CP9314 high-efficiency power converter, low-power CS42L43 SmartHIFI codec and CS35L56 smart amplifiers. According to the collaborators, the CP9314 power converter utilises switched capacitor technology to diminish heat emissions, lengthen battery life and allow for slicker, more compact product designs while also reducing fan noise levels. In turn, the built-in amplifiers deliver potent and clear speaker audio. Simultaneously, the low-power SmartHIFI codec facilitates transparent headset audio that consumes 50% less power than traditional HD-A Codecs.

Carl Alberty, Vice President of Cirrus Logic's Mixed-Signal Products group, stated, "Cirrus Logic is delivering value to the PC market with immersive audio and high-efficiency power conversion solutions." Until now, our collaborations with Intel and Microsoft have only included our audio components, but now our power conversion products are expanding the offering. We are excited to help our customers build laptops that elevate the laptop experience for consumers with fantastic sound and sleek, quiet, and power-efficient designs."

Ken McKee, General Manager of Client Customer Engineering and Vice President of the Client Computer Group for Intel, added, "Intel is committed to accelerating every aspect of the PC experience. Companies like Cirrus Logic help us make this vision a reality by enabling innovation at scale. This collaboration enhances the PC experience, delivering more advantages to both the industry as a whole and individual consumers."

The powerful triad team aims to deploy their panoptic skill set to extend Cirrus Logic's exceptional audio experience to more PCs. Promising benefits include louder and deeper bass, clearer voice, lower distortion and more, whether in headset or speaker mode. Notably, a special feature of the design is Cirrus Logic's patented rattle limiter algorithm, developed to minimise noise and vibration caused by rattling mechanical components, thereby ensuring a quieter, high-fidelity consumer experience.

Leveraging the burgeoning development of the new SoundWire interface and Microsoft's ACX framework, the innovative design is scalable across different processors, speakers, and notebook designs. This makes it easier for OEMs to implement high-performance audio subsystems that conveniently scale in terms of channel count and features. Additionally, the design carries built-in security features designed to curb unauthorized access to sensitive microphone/speaker data, alongside a slew of next-generation features like spatial audio.

The incorporation of Cirrus Logic's power and audio technology in the reference design envisages a substantial increase in device battery life. This environmentally friendly solution yields designs with lower costs and less waste due to reduced power consumption, fewer components, streamlined board space, and the potential for thinner, lighter notebooks.