Noise Shaper
Ultra High Resolution Noise Shaper for Digital to Analogue Conversion
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    32 Audio-Visual Consumer Electronics
    33 Instruments & Appliances for Measuring, Checking, Testing etc
DPA Digital Ltd. is small company of 5 employees and an annual sales revenues of approximately 250 KECU per annum. The company is involved in the design, manufacturing and marketing of a range of high-end hi-fi equipment for the domestic consumer market.

The objective of this application experiment (AE) is to improve the company's existing reference Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC), the PDM1024, by utilising FPGA technology. The current implementation of this and all the other company products was based on standard and discrete analogue and digital components. The company did not have any expertise in electronic development using FPGA technology or higher. In addition, the company did not have experience in the design of complex digital systems.

The use of FPGA devices has enabled the company to improve its existing DAC by incorporating its proprietary patent-pending Pulse Array Modulation (PAM) technique into the design of the noise shaper of the DAC. This has enabled the company to produce a much improved product at reduced manufacturing costs.

The total costs of the AE were 28,000 ECU. The development programme was started in October 1996, and was completed in 9 months. The projected improvements in the company's sales of the DAC range of products will ensure a payback period of 13 months. The anticipated return on investment (ROI) over the product life, expected to be 4 years, is 650%

Prior to this application experiment, the company had a strong perception that the introduction of FPGA technology, and other advanced microelectronics technologies, would be a high risk venture. Therefore, it was unable to improve its DAC range and adopt a suitable technology to integrate the complex digital circuits. The experience gained during the AE has proved the viability of the FPGA solution and the low risks associated with the adoption of this technology. The company is currently planning to utilise FPGA technology into its other audio products to maximise the impact of this technology on the company's business.

This application experiment and its results will be of interest to companies involved in the design and manufacture of specialist consumer electronic products, especially audio and entertainment systems, and small enterprises engaged in the design and manufacture of specialist equipment for niche markets.
DPA Digital Ltd.
81 Dobbins Road
CF63 2NP

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA technology provided DPA Digital Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
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Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
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United Kingdom