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Design of a Digital Audio Module for Ultra-Low Power Cellular Applications

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Prototype of an ambulance drone. Source:

Short Description

Cellular audio applications depend on an audio interface to connect a microphone/speaker. Acoustic waves, usually voice, are captured by a microphone, amplified, and subsequently sampled into the digital domain by an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC). In the other direction a stream of digital audio samples is first mapped into the analog domain by an Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) and subsequently amplified to drive a speaker, where the analog signal is translated into acoustic waves.

A huge variety of integrated audio modules such as [1] exist on the marked. In cellular devices an audio chip can be placed between microphone/speaker and a cellular modem. However, emerging applications, such as emergency watches [2] or ambulance drones [3], require highly integrated components due to their low footprint and extremely low power consumption.

Highly integrated cellular modems and ADC/DAC modules are under active research at the institute. In this project, the missing link to a microphone/speaker connection shall be designed. To this end, a switching amplifier supporting all common cellular audio standards (see [4,5]) shall be designed and integrated on a chip. This is a perfect learning opportunity for analog integrated circuits design.

Status: Obsolete

Contact: Benjamin Weber


[1] ADAU1461 Audio Codec

[2] Limmex Emergency Watch

[3] Drones For Good

[4] 3GPP Codecs Specifications; GSM only

[5] 3GPP Codecs Specifications; 3G and beyond/GSM