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Technology

Audio

HiWaveʼs techniques for excitation of surfaces to produce sound are in use in many applications ranging from turning carsʼ roof-linings into speakers to improve clarity of audio in a noisy environment, to low-cost toys and games where simple packaging materials become speakers. HiWave offers a range of exciter components providing a variety of output power and form factor options. These exciters are called DML - Distributed Mode Loudspeakers, and create a complex set of waveforms throughout the surface being excited.

Furthermore, HiWave has developed a methodology for controlling modal bending wave activity enabling pistonic action and surface excitation to be combined in a single transducer or driver. This results in a small form-factor speaker drive that delivers uncanny sound quality due to its wide dispersion of sound, and full range response. Listeners have described itʼs audio fidelity as ʻlifelikeʼ and ʻunencumbered by the attributes of speaker mechanicsʼ. HiWaveʼs family of products utilising this patented technology is called BMR - Balanced Mode Radiator - and are set to transform listening pleasure from small format, low-cost loudspeakers.

Lifelike audio reproduction depends on three separate aspects of the loudspeaker design being optimised - the transducer (or driver), the electronic control system (amplifier and associated signal processing), and the enclosure that houses the driver. HiWaveʼs Audium amplifier technology is an ultra-low power ʻclean-techʼ approach to audio amplification where almost no energy is wasted as heat. This means that high audio power can be delivered from a small amplifier chip with no need for heatsinks or forced cooling. The Audium integrated circuits take advantage of the ʻpeak-to-average ratioʼ of music and spoken word, where volume peaks are relatively infrequent compared to the normal level of sound. The incoming audio stream is analysed and the the voltage rail is dynamically switched by on-chip boost circuitry from its nominal 1-1.5V up to as high as 32V for maximum audio power, and immediately after the peak it drops back to the low voltage rail once more. The output drive transistors are also on-chip, as is a signal processing stage comprising an array of filters than can be configured for EQ (equalisation) to accommodate the acoustics of the enclosures that our customers choose to house their speaker products in. Combined with the amplifierʼs power consumption of only around 5% that of current generation digital amplifier chips, this EQ capability enables our customers to develop new genres of products such as high-quality USB-powered speakers and wireless speakers, with almost any industrial design form factor available to the developerʼs imagination.