Texas Instruments Unveils High-Performance Audio DAC

Sony may be pretending that DVD-Audio doesn't exist, and Panasonic may be in denial about SACD, but a new chip from Texas Instruments just might help bring the rival formats a little closer together in consumer living rooms and professional recording studios alike.

Last week, TI announced a high-performance audio digital/analog converter (DAC), from the company's Burr-Brown product line, designed specifically for high-performance consumer and professional audio systems such as DVD and CD players, A/V receivers, Super Audio CD (SACD) players, HDTV receivers, digital effects processors, and digital mixing consoles.

TI says that the inexpensive PCM1738 utilizes the company's newly developed Advanced Segment DAC architecture to achieve "excellent dynamic performance" and improved tolerance to clock jitter. TI claims that, at 24-bit resolution and 192kHz sampling, the PCM1738 delivers 117dB dynamic range, 117dB S/N ratio, and 0.0004% distortion.

According to TI, the PCM1738 provides balanced current outputs, allowing the audio product designer the ability to optimize analog performance externally. The company adds that the device accepts industry standard audio data formats with 16- to 24-bit data, providing simple interfacing to audio DSP and decoder chips while supporting sampling rates up to 200kHz. Additionally, TI says that the device has two optional modes of operation: an external digital filter mode, and a DSD decoder interface for SACD playback applications.