April 2017: The new AX5689 performance figures on system level are extremely good: It has an audio frequency and loudspeaker independent behavior […]
January 2017: Axign has been at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, 5 – 8 January 2017. During the exhibition the features […]
Audio systems are currently designed for a specific product. Wouldn’t it be great that the entire audio system is adaptive so that it can be automatically optimized to create the best audio experience possible?
During recording sound is controlled by mixers and equalizers. At reproduction, a DSP is used to personalize the sound experience or to optimize cross-over frequency of loudspeakers. The loudspeaker, that ultimately produces the sound, is usually driven by an inflexible, non-adaptable amplifier. To overcome this inflexibility Axign developed a fully programmable amplifier controller to create the best sound experience.
The digital amplifier controller of Axign, AX5689, compares the signal at the loudspeaker terminal with the input signal. All disturbances in the loop, such as power supply ripple and non-linearity from the reconstruction filter are compensated real-time and suppressed thanks to the extraordinary high loop gain. The analog signal at the load is converted by a high performance low-latency feedback ADC. It combines a low-latency of several nano-seconds, for loop stability, with a high dynamic range up to 120dB for professional audio. With only the input stage of the ADC in the analog domain the AX5689 is highly digital and consequently has all the features like programmability, self-learning and robustness of digital signal processing. Due to the digital nature of the design it is nearly CMOS technology independent.
The Axign amplifier controller is fully digital which makes it insensitive for component tolerances.
This allows for high order loop filters, up to 7th order, to make a high open loop gain and steep filtering possible. Thanks to the ability to program the transfer function loop filter characteristics can easily be changed, for example noise shaping from 20kHz to 40kHz and vice-versa.
The signal at the load is directly converted into a digital bit stream.
This implies that the error signal, being input minus output, is digitally available. As a result, the feedback signal can be analyzed which provides information such as clipping or a short. Also an “open” can be detected based on the expected output noise level. It is even possible to detect unwanted signals such as possible oscillations. A DSP in the system can instantly change the loop filters based on this information.
The amplifier controller contains multiple high performance ADCs.
Next to voltage steering of a transducer, the current through the transducer can be measured. Also this information is available within a few nano-seconds and can be used for protection purposes or even to drive the transducer in current mode.
Feedback is taken at the load.
Therefore, all non-idealities such as distortion from the reconstruction filter or power supply disturbances, which is especially of interest for class-G/H systems, are strongly suppressed thanks to the high loop gain. If need, notches can be programmed at critical frequencies.
Axign, established in 2014, is a fabless semiconductor company focussing on delivering unbeaten and breakthrough analogue/mixed signal technology and IC’s for audio amplifier systems. The foundation for this is our knowledge of control systems, algorithms and mixed signal design experience. We are also technology enthusiasts with strong links to Twente University and ‘Kennispark Twente’ in Enschede. Most of our engineers have a degree in electronic engineering from Twente University. The management team consists of technology entrepreneurs having experience with the biggest players in the semiconductor industry and with major audio system manufacturers.
We are always looking at ways to push boundaries and tackle problems that seem impossible. It is this drive that has seen us push the technology at the heart of the digital feedback for audio systems and to realise its full potential. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience by providing solutions which are distinguished, adaptive and controlled.
Prior to Axign, I was with Royal Philips Electronics and NXP Semiconductors holding various positions within R&D. During my work there I was in charge of all developments within the audio amplifiers group and introduced about 30 new products including dedicated automotive class AB amplifiers and switching class D amplifiers. After starting up my own consultancy firm to help companies develop their “mean and lean product development machine”, I took over as CEO of Axiom-IC and the development of the low latency ADC that is now at the heart of our Axign controller IC.
As a start-up we are always on the lookout for new talent and often have specific openings to help us push boundaries and tackle problems that seem impossible. From low-latency ADCs and supreme control loop filters to embedded DSP cores, we really do cover the whole analog and digital domain.
Working on these highly innovative solutions you work with leading audio manufacturers all around the world. With us, you will be able to participate in developing the audio industry, have direct contacts with customers and a high degree of responsibility towards the development of new audio solutions.
We provide a dynamic, challenging and fun working environment, where there is support and encouragement for self-employment and personal growth.
If you think you are the ideal fit for any of the openings below, or believe you would be a perfect member of the Axign team then send us your application letter together with your résumé (CV).
Currently Axign is looking for:
The new AX5689 performance figures on system level are extremely good:
The listening experience is extremely good:
The perfect silence and incredible sound. Audio under your control.
Axign has been at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, 5 – 8 January 2017. During the exhibition the features of Axign Audio Amplifier Controller IC were demonstrated. Thanks to the digital flexibility, robustness and feedback at the load, it is suitable for nearly every amplifier system.
Please find some interesting links on CES2017:
Axign developed a new demo board with even better sound performance.
It can be used for evaluation purposes under NDA.
This board can also be used as a reference design for your amplifier application.
Please contact Richard Langezaal, Director of Marketing or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. for further details.
After two years the location of the Moutlaan became too small for Axign. We found a new place in “de Spinnerij”, where more innovative start-up companies are located. It is an old spinning factory from the historic cotton and linen era of Enschede. The spinnerij dates from 1911. In its time it was a high risk innovative project of the young entrepreneur Ledeboer, who took the step to built a factory around the spinning mill powered by a steam engine. Today it is an inspiring environment to be working in.
Rigtersbleek-Zandvoort 10 – 2.11-2.12
7521 BE Enschede
The AX5689 – Audio Amplifier Controller IC – Product Brief is now available and can be downloaded by using the following link
The AX5689 is a sophisticated and versatile digital controller that enables feedback after the output filter such that it corrects for distortions caused by the supply, power stage and analog output filter. This product is still in development and all information in this datasheet is preliminary and subject to change. Information is confidential and should not be distributed. In the following link you can find the latest Product Brief of the AX5689 Audio Amplifier Controller IC.
The Axign Audio Amplifier Controller IC is in full verification mode. We are able to demonstrate the capabilities of our technology to main audio system producers within a few weeks from now.
Axign made a big step forward to enable our customers creating powerful balanced sound in every context.
Innovation Fund Twente has invested in Axign to ensure further development and market introduction of the Axign technology.
With these funding we are also able to get into direct communication with some world players in consumer electronics who are showing great interest in adopting our technology into their applications. Together with these customers we scheduled a tape-out for the second half of this year.
Axign is awarded a position in the TOP program from Kennispark Twente. This program provides high tech startups with both business and financial support.
Axign is closely working together with the Integrated Circuit Design Group from Bram Nauta at the University of Twente. Axign is also closely working together with Teledyne DALSA (formerly Axiom IC) Enschede in bringing the LLADC technology to the market. Axiom IC is originated from the Integrated Circuit Design Group form the University of Twente and is also a former participant in the TOP program.
We are proud that Axign is the second company that will receive a loan from the Proof of Concept Fund for the design and development of our innovation in high end audio amplifiers. The loan of €250.000 will be divided in two payments. The contract will be signed today.
With our invention we want to build a high end digital audio amplifier with smaller and cheaper components, whilst saving energy through raised efficiency in the chip. The loan will be used to elaborate on the invention and to develop a demonstrator to test if the design principles deliver the desired outcome in practice.
Axign has recently spun out of Axiom IC, a company that was acquired by the Teledyne DALSA in 2013.
Axign currently develops a controller chip for audio amplifiers.