Industry News Roundup

GamuT Audio has been acquired by Danish investment firm Rossing Nielsen Electronics A/S, according to an announcement released September 22. Under the new ownership, the number of GamuT products will be reduced to "provide shorter lead times and to make the brand more competitive," according to company principle Poul Rossing.

Lombardi Sales will continue to represent GamuT in the US and at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES). US dealers should contactRay Lombardi for more information. Rossing Nielsen is also majority shareholder of loudspeaker manufacturer Avance International A/S.

On September 29, Austin, TX–based D2Audio Corporation announced a new line of compact 1000W digital amplifiers. Measuring only 4" x 6", the self-contained, fully-functional amp modules need only power supply and input/output connections, and are said to be perfectly suited for use in a new generation of compact receivers, powered loudspeakers, flat-panel video monitors, and other consumer gear where size, heat, and weight are limiting design factors. D2Audio's modules are said to be 90% efficient, a dramatic improvement over the less-than-50% efficiency of most traditional designs.

D2Audio's new devices were developed under the umbrella of 18 different patents, and are claimed to be "the world’s only intelligent amplifiers…capable of recognizing complex speaker systems to which they are attached and optimizing the sound accordingly." D2 states that the devices permit DSP-based adjustments using parameters such as room dimensions, acoustical characteristics, and the location of the audience in the room. The company believes that such digital amplifiers will drive the trends of "compaction" and "intelligent audio equipment" in new products, offering more features and higher performance in ever-shrinking packages.

D2Audio is currently shipping modules for consumer applications: the GR120 for audio receivers and the GM100 for multi-room distributed audio. In 2004, the company will begin offering amp modules for the professional and commercial audio markets, and will then tackle the automotive market. D2Audio was an exhibitor at the recent CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis; it will demonstrate its products at booth #1066, level 3, at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention October 10–12 at the Javits Convention Center in New York. The global market for audio amplifiers is approximately $2 billion annually, according to Will Strauss, principal analyst at Forward Concepts Research.

On the other end of the power scale, Texas Instruments (TI) has announced what it calls "the highest output power mono class-A/B audio amplifier in the market today." Intended for applications such as cell phones, smart phones, and PDAs, the TPA6211A1 measures a mere 3mm x 3mm (or 3mm x 5mm, depending on configuration) and is said to be capable of delivering 3.1W of power into a 3 ohm load at 10% THD (total harmonic distortion). The tiny powerhouse cuts board space and gives designers more flexibility, according to a September 25 announcement from the Dallas-based technology giant.

Dell, Inc. has joined Gateway and Hewlett-Packard on the consumer convergence bandwagon. On September 25, the Round Rock, TX—based computer company announced that it would soon debut digital entertainment products including "digital music players, an online music service, and a multifunction LCD television and computer monitor."

The new products are part of a growing trend to integrate computers and home entertainment electronics, and should be available in the US by the winter holiday season. "We are revolutionizing technology…by delivering what is most important to consumers—content and experience—at a better value than they're currently getting," said chairman and CEO Michael Dell. "We want our customers to enjoy music, movies, home films, and personal communications when, where, and how they want," he added.