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Home » Applications & Technologies » Audio Applications - Noise Cancellation
Applications & Technologies

Featured Audio Applications - Noise Cancellation

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is a system or technique of applying an anti-noise waveform, which closely matches the shape and frequency of the offending noise waveform, at an angle of precisely 180 degrees out of phase from the noise at the point which they both reach the target area...

This design is for reference only. The design, as well as the products suggested, has not been tested for compatibility or interoperability.

Microphones for Noise Cancellation

In a typical audio application, a microphone is the device which captures sound waves as they are emitted from their source and passes them on to be converted into electrical signals for a variety of uses. In a noise cancellation application, microphones are used to register noise waves which need to be silenced. The microphones pass these waveforms on into the system to generate the anti-noise waveforms which are then emitted to cancel out the noise.

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Microphone Amplifiers for Noise Cancellation

A microphone pre-amplifier boosts signals, typically to line-level (the level needed to transmit analog signals point-to-point, between devices.) Further amplification may be necessary. The noise performance of a pre-amp is critical since the final signal-to-noise ratio of downstream amplifiers can be magnified. For an audio input application, such as microphones, the pre-amp is physically mounted near the sensor that feeds it, to reduce noise and interference.

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Automatic Gain Control (AGC) for Noise Cancellation

Automatic Gain Control (AGC) is a function that may also be provided by a Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) in an electronic circuit. This function dynamically adjusts gain, typically via a feedback signal, to shape the output signal to the desired amplitude in response to external conditions. AGC can be used to provide near real-time control and may also be referred to as adaptive control.

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DSPs for Noise Cancellation

A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor usually with a modified Harvard architecture and a single cycle multiply-and-accumulate required for the fast operational needs of processing and for mathematically manipulating real-world signals like voice, audio, and video. In a noise cancellation application, the DSP examines the characteristics of the input noise waveform. The DSP then generates the anti-noise waveform which effectively negates the input noise waveform. The human ear then hears less “white” noise as the cancellation occurs in real, or near-real time.

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Audio Codecs for Noise Cancellation

A codec encodes data for transmission and/or decodes it for playback. Essentially, a codec has one or more Digital-to-Analog data converters (DAC) and Analog-to-Digital converters (ADC) in a single package. A codec is essential for the use of Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) in audio applications, since can convert real-world analog signals (like sound) to digital signals for the DSP, and back again from digital to analog for the human ear.

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DACs for Noise Cancellation

A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is a semiconductor device that is used to convert a digital code (usually binary) into an analog signal, such as electric charge, current, or voltage. An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) performs the reverse operation. A DAC is the principal means by which computer and digitally-based systems translate digital data into real-world signals.

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Speaker Amplifiers for Noise Cancellation

A power or audio amplifier is typically used to greatly increase the signal strength, or amplitude, of a current or voltage signal. In audio applications, late stage ”poweramplifiers in a signal chain can be used to increase the power output of a signal such that the signal can physically move, or drive, the diaphragms in a loud speaker.

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Speakers for Noise Cancellation

In any audio application, speakers are the components that take the stored electronic signals and turn them back into actual sound, supplying the end-result of the audio system for listeners to hear. In an ideal noise cancellation application, a noise cancellation speaker emits the anti-noise waveforms which cancel out the offending noise waveforms so that instead of noise, the listener hears near silence.

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Boost Converters for Noise Cancellation

A DC/DC boost converter, also known as a step-up converter, is a semiconductor device or electrical circuit that has an output DC voltage that is greater than the DC input voltage. The amount of output current will be lower than the source current, however. Boost converters can increase the voltage and thus reduce the total number of battery cells required for portable applications.

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DC / DC Buck Converters for Noise Cancellation

A buck converter is a power efficient voltage step-down converter that changes a higher voltage to a lower voltage. Whereas a linear regulator can achieve the same purpose, regulators can waste more energy via conversion of excess energy to heat. Thus, for this reason a buck DC/DC converter is the preferred choice for power-efficient designs such as portable electronics.

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Low Drop Out (voltage) Regulators for Noise Cancellation

A Low Drop Out (voltage) Regulator is a voltage regulator that automatically maintains a constant voltage level and features a low potential at below which it can no longer reliably regulate. LDOs stabilize input or supply voltages so processors and other sensitive electronics can do their jobs. LDOs are instrumental in enabling the power-efficient portables in use today because they enable very low minimum operating voltages.

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Supply Voltage Supervisors for Noise Cancellation

Supply Voltage Supervisors monitor the primary voltage that feeds embedded electronics circuits for low voltage conditions, thus improving system reliability. Voltage supervisors ensure a proper system power-up and power-down and work to provide an environment for a smooth and trouble-free system. For example, a voltage supervisor can be made to reset a controller if supply voltage conditions are too low for proper operation of the controller and keep it in a reset mode until the unstable supply voltage conditions resolve.

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