IPRO 344: Audio Quality & Energy Efficiency for Mobile Devices and Intercoms

Making a difference one order at a time!

Supported by the Illinois Institue of Technology and with interest taken by McDonald's corporation, IPRO 344 seeks to improve the sound quality of existing drive-thru restaurants. What began as an exploration into Class D audio amplifiers has paved the way for a new and vastly improved intercom system to be utilized in existing drive-thrus. Class D amplifiers offer a low-power, high efficiency solution for mobile devices and intercoms.

Class D audio amplifiers are highly efficient due to their rapidly switching states. At any given moment, a class D amplifier is switched either fully on or fully off. In these states, the amplifier does not drain energy from the source. Energy is used only during the transition periods, thus reducing the total power consumption. This has allowed high power amplifiers to be constructed without the need for a heat sink as well as reduced size. IPRO 344 first began investigating the use of Class D amplifiers in the Fall of 2007. They are desirable to be used within our improved intercom system because they produce excellent sound quality, are low-cost, and energy efficient. Lower power consumption is the goal of most modern electronic devices as well as being friendly to the environment.