Clarion Full Digital Sound System
AClarion has partnered with Trigence Semiconductor and their Dnote technology to be the first car audio company in the world to develop a true fully digital audio system. Fully digital from the source, all the way to the digitallydriven voice coils in the proprietary speakers. With this system, you can forget about ohms and volts, as there are no analog signals between the source and the speaker cones. You can also forget about the traditional noise and interference issues we have dealt with for 30 years, as this system's signal is fully digital from the front to the back of the car, thereby eliminating the entry points for common sources of noise.
The Clarion Full Digital System (FDS for short) is comprised of three fundamental components that must be used together. First there's the “brain” of the system, the Z3 processor. The Z3 is a small device that serves as the main connection point for all the inputs and outputs, and is packaged with a pair of one-inch soft dome tweeters and a remote commander unit for controlling the system. The tweeters plug directly into the Z3 and are driven by an onboard digital amplifier. Next is the Z7 loudspeaker, a 6.75-inch woofer/midrange with built-in custom LSI circuitry (more on this later). The Z7 speaker is equipped with six voice coils, and a fully digital drive circuit is mounted on the rear of the magnet. What would normally be the speaker wire is a small gauge digital input wire that also plugs directly into the Z3 processor. Last, but not least, is the Z25W subwoofer. It shares similar construction concepts with the midrange woofer, in that it also incorporates built-in LSI digital drive circuitry.
The LSI technology found in the Full Digital System has been custom developed by Clarion specifically for use in automotive applications. LSI stands for “Large Scale Integration” and it is the process of integrating or embedding thousands of transistors on a single silicon semiconductor chip. In the case of the LSI used here, the result is a microprocessor that consists of multiple complex subsystems, and is really more of an integrated system than an integrated circuit. The Clarion system is capable of maintaining a 96-kHz/24-Bit digital audio signal from the source to the speakers without ever converting it to analog or passing a signal through a traditional amplifier. The result is a faithful reproduction of high-resolution music files exactly as they were mastered, with absolutely no degradation in quality.
The Clarion Full Digital Sound speakers, each equipped with their own LSI chipset, utilize Dnote digital signal processing to transmit six digital signals to the multi-driver's six-layer multi-voice coils, which deliver precision cone control that translates to accurate sound and highly efficient performance. Because this approach more than doubles the speed of conventional digital systems, it allows higher output power while requiring about half the input power, making this methodology of driving a loudspeaker far more efficient than even the best traditional Class-D amplifiers. Additionally, because of the way the drive circuits are mounted directly to the speaker and have very short distances to the multiple voice coils, there are lower distortion levels and increased speaker cone control at all volume levels.