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CES: Enough Memory! Give Me Better Sound.

This year’s CES seemed larger than ever with aisles upon aisles of portable media and LCDs displaying HD content. This year wasn’t about new technologies as it was about the fruition of the industry’s innovation over the last few years. TVs are thinner than ever and now they’re becoming affordable to the average consumer. Portable media players are finally achieving the screen and batter life required, and MP3 players are getting increased storage.

Yet it wasn’t until I escaped from the hectic show floors and retreated to Texas Instrument’s relaxed atmosphere in their Hilton Suite that I was shown my two true loves of the show. On the fourth floor TI introduced me to their DirectPath Headphone Amplifier TPA6130A2 and their Stereo Audio Codec PCM3793/94.

These two products, while maybe not as impressive as a 32GB flash HDD for notebooks, are just as significant, because they address the last frontier in portable media: sound quality. What use is having an 800GB MP3 Player if I can’t get some high quality bass while cranking up the latest hits? What use is having a 10GB SD card on your camera for movies if you can constantly hear the camera zooming in and out?

The TPA613A2 has the highest PSRR (Power Supply Ripple Rejection) and the lowest quiescent current. These features make it possible to minimize outside noise, increase battery life, and maximize audio quality for any portable media player, while giving manufacturers a $.40 savings.

The PCM3793/94 is a low power audio codec for portable media players. Like the amplifier, this device increases battery life and sound quality. These two products ensure that consumers will never again deal with hearing a camera zoom on their home made videos, and that finally there will be a high quality bass sound on portable devices.

These two products along with the rest of CES make it even more apparent that the day is fast approaching where instead of saying “we’ll get the technology someday,” we’ll be saying “we have the technology right now.”