ICEpower has close ties to the iconic, Danish high-end consumer electronics company, Bang & Olufsen. In 1999, a phD thesis on efficient, compact Class D amplifiers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) drew the attention of the Bang & Olufsen management. This resulted in a joint venture, which created the foundation for ICEpower a/s. From the start ICEpower became – not just a department of Bang & Olufsen – but a separate, limited company. At that time, the practical application of Class D technology to audio was new and generating interest in the audio world. The advantages of high efficiency/high power density amplifiers made possible by the new Class D topology became apparent.
The relationship with Bang & Olufsen enabled ICEpower to quickly become one of the leading companies in the amplification world. Starting in high-end niche markets, ICEpower developed a range of premium quality audio power conversion engines used by some of the world’s most prestigious audio brands. Both within hi-fi and PRO audio brands, ICEpower served clients such as Bowers & Wilkins, Pioneer, Sony, Alpine, Jeff Rowland, Rotel, RCF as well as Bang & Olufsen’s own products.
All modules in the AS Series combine high performance class D amplifiers with a universal mains switch mode power supply including: ErP and Energy Star compliant standby functionality, regulated auxiliary power supplies, wake-on signal sense, balanced audio input and a DC-bus output for powering additional ICEpower 300A1 amplifiers.
The AS series has been developed with a focus on maximizing power, performance and features while keeping the cost competitive.
The series includes both single and two channel modules from 100 W to 1200 W per channel. The amplifier modules in ICEpower’s AS Series are based on patented modulation and control techniques.
Class D amplifiers
The audio power amplifier plays an essential role in every system that generates audible sound. For decades, amplifiers have been produced using analogue (Class A and AB) designs, which are very inefficient and result in voluminous, heavy and rather expensive products. The innovation cycle of analogue audio power conversion has come to its maturity and hardly any innovation can be made there.
On the other hand, switching or Class D amplification techniques are only at the beginning of their development. These technologies carry a large potential for delivering much higher efficiency and audio performance, making audio products more reliable, of higher quality, smaller size, and involving lower costs.
Instead of linear power regulation used in Class AB amplifiers, which leads to energy losses in power transistors, Class D amplifiers use switching transistors that operate only at two stages – “on“ or “off”. Nearly no energy loss occurs at the transistor and nearly all the power is carried to the transducer.
Class D technologies have been around for decades, but until the 1990s their design and integration characteristics have not been developed to the level necessary for achieving high performance in quality audio and hi-fi applications. It is only in the 1990s that the semiconductor and digital technologies have been developed to enable enhancement of Class D technologies.
ICEpower have pioneered in developing new technologies to enhance Class D amplification and bring the audio quality to the level accepted by audiophiles. This allowed for subsequent introduction of Class D technologies into a wide range of audio applications.
ICEpower® Class D amplifiers have the following advantages:
Audio performance on the level with or better than Class AB amplifiers
Significantly higher energy efficiency of audio products
Audio products can be made much smaller and lighter, external heat sinks can be eliminated
Significantly decreased manufacturing costs
Higher integration of components is possible
Resulting in more design freedom and more attractive products
Due to the possibility of designing smaller products, more channels can be integrated into a single solution or audio product
Higher quality of products
The possibility of increasing the standard of existing products
All of this taken together benefits our environment in numerous ways and makes Class D amplification a “green” technology
For examples, the 10-channel solutions that ICEpower has created for Pioneer Electronics’ Susano A/V receiver could not have been developed without applying switching technologies – Class AB amplifiers could not sustain this amount of channels with high audio quality in a single product.