Audio DAC for highest-quality sound circuits

July 02, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
A “reference” stereo DAC targets audiophile-grade mobile, CE and professional applications; Ismosys is stocking ESS Technology’s latest derivative of what it claims as the world’s highest performance 32-bit reference Stereo digital-to-analogue converter.

The ES9018-2M Sabre32 Reference Stereo DAC is a two-channel 32-bit digital-to-analogue converter targeted at audiophile-grade mobile device applications such as smartphones, tablets and digital music players, as well as consumer devices such as Blu-ray players, audio pre-amplifiers and A/V receivers, and professional devices such as recording systems, mixer consoles and digital audio. The product is positioned as allowing audiophiles on the move to enjoy the ultimate Sabre Sound experience: the company says, “For the first time, audio enthusiasts will be able to benefit from the critically acclaimed SABRE sound stage, small footprint and low power consumption everywhere they go, [and] in addition the DAC is the perfect solution for audio products of all form factors and categories – mobile, desktop, consumer or professional”.

"Unlike conventional sigma-delta (Σ∆) DACs, the ES9018-2M Sabre32 Reference Stereo DAC incorporates patented circuits to deliver spectacular music with up to 127dB dynamic range and 0.0001% (-120dB) total harmonic distortion, free from the clock jitter that commonly plagues digital audio systems. The 32-bit HyperStream modulator is capable of 100% modulation and unconditional stability; the Revolver Dynamic Element Matching ensures performance over a wide dynamic range, while a Time Domain Jitter Eliminator removes the digital jitter that causes distortion".

The ES9018-2M Sabre32 Reference Stereo DAC supports stereo conversion from digital audio input in PCM, DSD or SPDIF formats of up to 384kHz sampling rate, in both synchronous and ASRC (asynchronous sample rate conversion) modes, featuring click-free soft mute, volume control, de-emphasis, programmable zero detect, a small 28-QFN (5 x 5mm) package and low power consumption - less than 40mW in normal operation and 1mW in standby. Ismosys also has

a range of ESS evaluation boards.

ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance audio and video products for the consumer market. ESS’s products include the SABRE/SABRE32 series of Hyperstream audio DACs and ADCs, the Phoenix-III series of HD-Enhanced DVD Home Theatre SoC, Crescendo series of Sound Bar SoC, Radix CMOS