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Wolfson WM8860 HD Audio with S/PDIF Transmitter

by January 06, 2011
Wolfson HD Audio Devices WM8860

Wolfson HD Audio Devices WM8860

Wolfson Microelectronics plc announced the release of its new HD Audio product line for PCs and laptops. Wolfson’s latest innovative technology brings exceptional High Definition (HD) Audio performance to PCs and laptops, modernizing a sector of the consumer electronics market where audio quality has often been overlooked.

Wolfson’s innovative new multi-channel HD Audio devices, the WM8850 and WM8860 deliver the best audio experience available in the PC market, enabling consumers, as well as music industry professionals, including producers, musicians and DJs, to experience audio through their PC or laptop as never before. Creating, producing and listening to music through a Wolfson HD Audio-enabled PC allows the user to experience faithful rendering of music, and an immersive soundstage where they can hear each individual instrument in isolation, feeling as if the music is being performed live in front of them.

“The PC audio space demands a transformation. For too long, PC audio quality has been overlooked, and consumers have had to accept lower levels of audio quality in their computing devices. With our new HD Audio product line, we can now deliver professional audio quality to PCs and laptops that matches the quality of the video and imaging. PCs and laptops are fast becoming the center of converged home entertainment systems, where multimedia content, especially music and video, is consumed and created in increasing amounts and in new ways."

- Peter Frith, Chief Technology Officer at Wolfson Microelectronics

Wolfson’s HD Audio WM8850 and WM8860 both deliver exceptional audio performance, excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and total harmonic distortion (THD) performance, while also enabling a smaller PCB area, reduced bill of materials (BOM) and significantly lower power consumption.

Both devices are fully compatible with the industry-standard High Definition Audio interface and compliant with Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). The WM8850 features three high performance stereo digital-to-analog converters (DACs) to enable six channels of HD Audio, perfect for 5.1 surround sound multichannel audio systems, while the WM8860 incorporates two high performance stereo DACs to enable four channels of high definition audio. The accompanying software enables advanced use cases, low power operation, and builds upon the Windows 7 audio framework, while also supporting Windows Vista, XP and Linux. At the heart is Wolfson’s Audio Studio, which sets a new benchmark in usability and feature set, while embedding the Wolfson SoundStage effects engine. 

Features & Specs

  • Multi-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
  • Fully compatible with Intel High Definition Audio Revision 1.0
  • 4-Channel DAC, 4-channel ADC
  • DAC sampling frequency 8kHz - 192kHz
  • ADC sampling frequency 8kHz - 96kHz
  • DAC Performance:
    -   SNR 108 dB (‘A’ weighted)
    -   SNR 105dB (non weighted)
    -   THD -96dB (at 0dBFS)
  • ADC Performance:
    -   SNR 105 dB (‘A’ weighted)
    -   SNR 102dB (non weighted)
    -   THD -95dB (at -1dBFS)
  • Ground-referenced stereo headphone driver
  • Differential line inputs/outputs
  • Stereo microphone interface with integrated pre-amp
  • Multi-channel digital microphone interface
  • IEC-60958-3 compatible S/PDIF transmitter
  • Jack detect and load impedance sensing
  • Beep generator
  • GPIO functionality
  • IEEE-754 Single precision 32-bit floating point support
  • Power supplies
    -   Digital core:     1.62V – 1.98V
    -   Digital buffer:   2.97V – 3.63V
    -   Analogue:        4.5V – 5.5V
    -   Charge pump:  4.5V – 5.5V
  • 48-pin 7mm x 7mm QFN package


The WM8850 and WM8860 are both available for sampling now in a 48-pin 7 mm x 7 mm QFN package, priced at $4.80 in 1K volume.  WM8850 and WM8860 customer evaluation boards are available with Wolfson’s Audio Studio software suite to aid device evaluation and development. 

About Wolfson Microelectronics
Wolfson Microelectronics is a global leader in the supply of high performance, mixed-signal semiconductor solutions to the consumer electronics market. In the home, in the office and on the move, Wolfson’s innovative technology can be found at the heart of many of the world’s leading digital consumer goods, including premier hi-fi equipment, mobile phones, MP3 players, flat panel TVs, digital still cameras and portable navigation devices. The company’s headquarters is located in Edinburgh, UK. Wolfson’s customers are located worldwide, and so is Wolfson, with design centers, sales offices, applications teams and engineering expertise across Europe, the US and Asia.  Wolfson Microelectronics plc is listed on the London stock exchange (LSE: WLF.L).  For more information about Wolfson Microelectronics, please visit: http://www.wolfsonmicro.com


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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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