THX is a marketable name. It is instantly recognizable; a brainchild of legendary film maker George Lucas, and a household name for nearly anyone who’s stepped into a movie theater. So it’s with open arms that we welcome news of THX’s entry into VR with their introduction of the THX AAA audio amplifier chip, a chip especially suited for the positional audio requirements of both mobile and PC-based VR.
The aptly acronymed AAA stands for Achromatic Audio Amplifier, and debuted in THX’s partner Benchmark’s series of amplifiers, and adapted further for mobile applications. THX’s own enumeration of the audiophile features inherent in their makes my head swim slightly with its technical terms, but I am reasonably confident of its performance owing to the amount of praise and excitement surrounding THX’s other products based on AAA. THX claims the chip “bests every other amplifier product in the marketplace.” These features include but are not limited to the following:
reduces harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortions by 20-100x
> reduces power consumption by a factor of 10
> cancel conventional distortion mechanisms and reduce bias current
> improves audio fidelity, shrinks battery size and extends playtime
> un-measurable distortion of -137 dB
> high output power of 63 mW
> 5 mW of quiescent power consumption
Another possible application in addition to mobile VR is wireless headsets dedicated to VR, where power consumption and good fidelity in a compact device is important. The entry of THX into the VR space is another great indicator of VR’s entry into the mainstream; like Qualcomm’s announcement of the VR-centric Snapdragon 835 Soc chip, THX is set to lend even more credibility to the idea that VR is not only here to stay, but to become an important pillar of entertainment in the future.
THX is cooperating with Triad Semiconductor, one of the firms that contributed to the development of components for Valve and HTC’s tracking base stations. THX will be showing off more of their tech in the upcoming CES 2017.