By GaN Systems and Upstream Audio & Acoustics

Audio company Syng today debuted its much-anticipated high-fidelity Cell Alpha wireless speaker. Demonstrating the ultimate in sound quality, Cell Alpha features two woofers in opposing configuration; three-element, two-way beamforming array; and three built-in microphones for automatic room equalization. The design is sleek and functional (the speaker can also be networked for surround sound and multiroom audio) and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Founded by former lead Apple designer Christopher Stringer and entrepreneur Damon Way of DC Shoes and Incase, Syng is driving excitement in the audio industry with incredible design and engineering, which you can see in every aspect from hardware to software. For GaN Systems, it’s very rewarding to be part of such a great innovation. In the Cell Alpha, you can see our GaN (gallium nitride) transistors designed into the power supply.

Meeting the Design Challenge

The Cell Alpha is industrial design driven. Therefore, the power supply had to be designed to operate without heatsinks or active cooling and operate in a sealed environment that contained all the heat generated by the power supply, DSP, wireless components, and speakers.

The power supply is a universal input power supply with a tightly regulated output voltage of 25 VDC. Audio applications have unique and demanding power supply requirements. While the continuous power level is low at most normal listening levels, the peak transient power can be very high, and handling these transient peaks correctly is a critical factor for sound quality. The high amplitude of the slap of a bass guitar or the crack of a snare drum immediately draws enormous power from the power supply.

The Cell Alpha – and its GaN power supply – can deliver peak transients of nearly 750 W.

GaN was the right choice for the design simply because the design engineers did not have to make any hard choices or trade-offs between performance and physical size and weight, GaN provides both.  The Cell Alpha power supply fits in any space, creates minimal heat, and supplies the continuous and transient power requirements of the system.

GaN Systems’ GS61004B 100V and GS-065-011-1-L 650V Enhancement Mode GaN transistors are used in the power supply. GaN’s attributes such as extremely high switching speed, low on-resistance, and zero reverse recovery make it possible to eliminate the heatsink and shrink the magnetic components without compromising performance.

The future of GaN audio is bright, and the Syng announcement is just the tip of the iceberg. We foresee that a significant number of the world’s notable brands in the audio market will be offering GaN Powered™ audio amplifiers and companion power supplies by the end of 2021.