GaN Systems and Orchard Audio Deliver “Near Perfect” Fidelity
The latest Starkrimson® product line from Orchard Audio highlights the remarkable sound quality and amplifier performance delivered by GaN power transistors
OTTAWA, Canada AND Succasunna, N.J., November 4, 2021 – GaN Systems, the global leader in GaN power semiconductors, and Orchard Audio, announced their collaboration to introduce the latest, cutting-edge Class-D audio products to market. Orchard Audio’s Starkrimson Stereo Ultra amplifier and all-in-one Starkrimson Streamer Ultra use GaN Systems transistors, highlighting the benefits of GaN in sound performance and quality.
GaN transistors provide the perfect blend of performance and power for Class-D audio applications. The Starkrimson Stereo Ultra amplifier delivers up to 500WRMS (1,000WPEAK) of power and 20A of current while maintaining extremely low noise and distortion. This amplifier design offers an enormous reserve of power for extended transients and expands linearly with the load: 125 watts into 16 ohms, 250 watts into 8 ohms, and 500 watts into 4 ohms for powerful, unrestrained music.
The filter is a significant part of a Class-D amplifier. The very fast switching of GaN transistors (2 to 3X faster than traditional Class-D amplifiers using silicon transistors) allow the use of a simple LC inductor and capacitor filter, which enables the amplifier to have practically no phase shift from DC (0Hz) to 30kHz.
The Starkrimson Streamer Ultra is a high-end audio system that combines the company’s highly reviewed and award-winning PecanPi® DAC and Starkrimson Stereo Ultra amplifiers and streamer. The system can perform the same functions that once required a rack full of components.
The Starkrimson Streamer Ultra is 2-ohm capable and offers fully balanced output, extremely low noise and distortion, ultra-low jitter, and native playback up to 24Bit/192K. The streaming amplifier can be controlled from any smartphone, tablet, or PC.
“It’s been exciting to work with GaN Systems for the next generation of Starkrimson products,” said Leo Ayzenshtat of Orchard Audio. “The Ultra amplifier design would not be possible with the use of silicon MOSFETs or other GaN FETs without some compromise. GaN Systems’ transistors allowed me to reach higher power levels, and the higher efficiency offered by GaN means minimal heatsinks. The dead-time can be made smaller than with silicon counterparts, and GaN’s very fast slew rates makes an almost perfect square wave.”
“We’re thrilled with the growth of GaN we’re seeing in the audio marketplace including our most recent announcements with Syng and Orchard Audio,” stated Paul Wiener, VP Strategic Marketing of GaN Systems. “This momentum demonstrates the value of our GaN transistors in delivering superior sound quality, performance, and size reduction for Class-D audio applications.”
For more information about GaN Systems and Orchard Audio’s collaboration, download the case study here.
 Slew rate of ~10,000V/uS at switch node; the switching frequency is almost 800 kHz.