Silicon Labs Simplifies Digital Class D Audio Development for 32-Bit Embedded Designs

  Silicon Labs Simplifies Digital Class D Audio Development for 32-Bit
  Embedded Designs

ToolStick Evaluation Kit for Precision32™ MCUs Reduces the Cost and Complexity
               of Adding Voice, Sound Clips and Streaming Audio

Business Wire

AUSTIN, Texas -- December 12, 2012

Silicon Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leader in high-performance,
analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, today introduced a cost-effective
USB-based evaluation kit that enables developers to add digital Class D audio
capabilities to 32-bit embedded designs based on Silicon Labs’ feature-rich
SiM3U1xx Precision32™ microcontrollers (MCUs). The new Class D ToolStick kit
demonstrates how easy and economical it is to upgrade basic “buzzer/beeper”
alert sounds used in personal medical devices, fitness equipment, high-end
toys, small appliances and other consumer electronics products to more
sophisticated voice prompts, music, sound clips and even streaming audio.

Silicon Labs’ highly integrated SiM3U1xx MCUs are well suited for digital
Class D power amplification applications without the hassle and expense of
adding discrete Class D amplifiers. The SiM3U1xx MCUs include a 300 mA
high-drive I/O capable of directly driving a small speaker, a crystal-less USB
transceiver compatible with the USB audio interface, two 250 ksps 12-bit
analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), and an I2S receiver that supports audio
streaming from a PC, a portable music player or a wide range of I2S-enabled
audio devices. The only external components required to drive Class D audio
from SiM3U1xx MCUs are inexpensive inductors, some capacitors and ferrite

In addition to supporting Class D audio capabilities, the new ToolStick also
enables developers to add capacitive touch buttons and sliders to their 32-bit
embedded systems or use the SiM3U1xx MCU’s high-drive I/Os with pulse-width
modulation (PWM) to directly drive other components such as small motors,
eliminating the need for separate power field-effect transistors (FETs).

The Class D ToolStick board is powered from USB using the SiM3U1xx MCU’s
internal 5 V regulator, and it can play music from a stereo jack, a computer
or a recorded message using a simple speaker. The Class D ToolStick provides
four modes of operation: sampling data from a portable music player using the
MCU’s on-chip ADCs, USB audio streaming from a PC, playing pre-recorded sound
clips stored from on-chip flash memory using a common audio compression
algorithm, and a voice recorder that stores data in flash using an audio
compression algorithm. Developers can easily handle mode transition through
capacitive touch buttons and control volume with a capacitive touch slider.

The Class D ToolStick evaluation kit comes complete with hardware Gerber files
and software to streamline the process of adding Class D audio to embedded
applications. In addition, the ToolStick can serve as a cost-effective,
general-purpose development platform for Precision32 MCUs. It features a
built-in USB-based debugger/programming interface and accessible pins for easy
prototyping. The Class D ToolStick debug interface is fully operational with
Silicon Labs’ complimentary Precision32 IDE, compiler and AppBuilder crossbar
configuration software, as well as Keil tool chains.

“Audio feedback provides developers with a useful, cost-effective and
appealing way to differentiate their embedded products in today’s competitive
market,” said Keith Odland, director of marketing for Silicon Labs’
microcontroller products. “With our new Class D ToolStick, developers can
quickly and easily add Class D audio capabilities and capacitive touch buttons
and sliders to any 32-bit embedded product using Silicon Labs’ SiM3U1xx MCUs.”

Pricing and Availability

The Class D ToolStick evaluation kit is available now and priced at $35 (USD
MSRP). The kit includes full source code and implements a Class D amplifier
demonstration using a small-footprint 40-pin 6 mm x 6 mm package SiM3U1xx MCU.

For more information and to order Silicon Labs’ Class D ToolStick evaluation
kit, please visit For additional
Precision32 MCU product information, samples and other development tools,

Silicon Laboratories Inc.

Silicon Laboratories is an industry leader in the innovation of
high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs. Developed by a
world-class engineering team with unsurpassed expertise in mixed-signal
design, Silicon Labs’ diverse portfolio of patented semiconductor solutions
offers customers significant advantages in performance, size and power
consumption. For more information about Silicon Labs, please visit

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This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on Silicon
Laboratories’ current expectations. These forward-looking statements involve
risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual
results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. For
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the SEC. Silicon Laboratories disclaims any intention or obligation to update
or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.

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Silicon Laboratories Inc.
Dale Weisman, +1-512-532-5871
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