TI Home > News Releases

News Releases

TI is in Driver's Seat of High Performance Audio Processing with HARMAN/BECKER Automotive Systems Design Win

New 2005 Mercedes-Benz(R) S-Class to Rock the Luxury Car Market with Harman Kardon(R) High Quality Surround Sound Audio System

Dec 19, 2005

HOUSTON (December 19, 2005) - Helping to move home theater-quality audio to the car, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced that its AureusTM audio digital signal processor (DSP) and analog components are driving the latest audio features in HARMAN/BECKER's infotainment system and Harman Kardon® amplifier inside the 2005 S-Class Mercedes-Benz®. Creating a feature-rich, high-quality system, Harman Kardon is using TI's processor technology to offer the first fully software-based DTCP encryption and decryption for multi-channel audio transmission over the MOST® (Media Oriented System Transport) multimedia network. (See www.ti.com/performanceaudio1.) 
The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes equipped with the HARMAN/BECKER head unit and Harman Kardon audio system, which boasts 600 Watts, 13 channels, 14 speakers, a memory card slot and MP3 compatibility. The Harman Kardon audio system provides a complete multimedia experience in the car by supporting DTS CD and both DVD Video and DVD Audio formats. By using TI's Aureus DSP, Harman Kardon was able to transmit DTCP-protected, multi-channel DVD Audio over the MOST bus, a first in any automotive system worldwide. Also with the Aureus DSP, Harman Kardon implemented a high-quality Logic7® technology based surround processing system, which creates a truly enveloping listening experience making sure that each listener in the car is always in the "sweet spot." The 2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2005 in Europe and in early 2006 in the U.S.
"Due to customer demand for higher quality audio systems, content protected multi-channel transmission was needed over the MOST network to eliminate quality degradation due to stereo down-mixing," said Dr. sc. tech. Hans-Juergen Nitzpon, manager of Advanced Signal Processing, HARMAN/BECKER. "TI's excellent technical support and easy-to-use tools helped us reach a new chapter in our product development. TI's technology has enabled us to build a modular framework based on software programmable DSPs, and thus avoid creating custom chips for each product."
The Harman Kardon Logic7 discrete surround sound system is powered by TI's TMS320DA610 processor in the head unit and the amplifier. Part of TI's Aureus platform of audio DSPs, the DA610 is a 225 MegaHertz (MHz) floating point DSP that delivers 1800 million instructions per second (MIPS) and 32/64-bit native processing. The Harman Kardon sound system also utilizes several TI analog components, including bus switches and processor supervisory circuit.
"A very prestigious design win, the Mercedes-Benz Harman Kardon audio system demonstrates that just because you are in a car, you don't have to lower your listening standards," said Dave Maples, Performance Audio manager, TI. "We expect to see more home theater features transferring to the next-generation of automotive sound systems, such as the Logic7 surround processor and EQ correction for listener and speaker location."
Using the high-performance Aureus product line, OEMs can deliver next-generation digital audio features and can incorporate proprietary audio processing algorithms into their system. The Aureus platform of products features an open audio framework that provides manufacturers a flexible design environment to easily add the latest features to differentiate their products.