Wireless audio is a design win for Dialog Semi in Nintendo Wii U

February 18, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Advanced power management and low latency wireless audio technology offers improved user experience and greater levels of activity for users of the Wii U, Nintendo’s latest gaming console

Dialog is supplying core technology for Nintendo’s new Wii U Wireless Microphone. Nintendo’s latest gaming console incorporates both Wii U Wireless Microphone (SC14448) and USB Dongle (SC14492) chips from Dialog. Using low latency audio, Dialog’s technology offers interference-free connectivity, long battery life and reliability, and allows consumers more freedom to move, dance and jump when using the Wii U for karaoke or other games.

A cost-effective wireless solution that would not rely on the over-crowded and unregulated 2.4 GHz wireless band, where devices experience audio disturbance during peak network traffic, is required by Nintendo. Since Dialog’s solution uses low latency audio based on the 1.9 GHz band, it doesn’t compete with other wireless signals and is, therefore, not impacted by any wireless interference – delivering excellent audio quality.

Dialog’s power management technology allows for dry cell battery life of up to 40 hours for the Wii U Wireless Microphone. This extended battery life is achieved by optimising radio transmit time and power. The single chip solution (SC14448) also improves battery life by powering down functions when they are not required. The Wii U console can be equipped with two USB radio dongles to support two Wii U Wireless Microphones and the radio control is designed to ensure that the two closely fitted dongles do not interfere with one another. This gives disturbance-free audio quality and low-latency performance. The SC14492 wireless audio single chip has integrated USB functions, allowing for very small form-factor designs.

“Traditional radio technologies for audio applications suffer from drop-outs or have long-latency. The Dialog solution takes advantage of an interference-free frequency band and selects a special protocol for low-latency audio. It is perfectly suited to the high-quality audio and active user experience that consumers expect from Nintendo’s Wii U Wireless Microphone,” says Sean McGrath, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Connectivity, Automotive & Industrial Business Group.

The Wii U Wireless Microphone is currently available in Japan, following