Crystal Semiconductor Introduces 96kHz Digital Audio Transmitters and Receivers

The Crystal Semiconductor Products Division of Cirrus Logic Inc. announced last week the availability of the industry's first digital audio transmitters and receivers designed to support the emerging 96kHz digital audio sampling rate. The new mixed-signal receivers and transmitters are targeted at both the professional audio and consumer DVD audio markets.

The new chips support transmission of digital audio signals to industry-standard formats, specifically the Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format (S/PDIF) for consumer applications, and the Audio Engineering Society/European Broadcast Union (AES/EBU) format for professional applications. Each chip is pin-compatible with its 48kHz predecessor, enabling an OEM upgrade to 96kHz without any hardware redesign.

"[Crystal's CS8412] digital audio receiver has become the professional audio industry's standard due to a unique low-jitter, phase-locked loop design," said John Paulos, vice president of Crystal audio products. "We are pleased to offer our customers an easy pin-compatible migration path to address the emerging 96kHz digital audio market."

The previous-generation receivers implemented a low-jitter, phase-locked loop (PLL) design. Clock jitter degrades the quality of the audio signal during playback, as typically the clock generated from the PLL is the clock source for the audio system's D/A converter. The new chips extend this low-jitter PLL design to support 96kHz sample rates and help preserve sound quality.