ICEPower Amplifiers with Bang & Olufsen
'Intelligence, Compactness & Efficiency'
ICEPower® is a switching power conversion technology used for audio reproduction. ICEPower® units are characterised by being Intelligent, Compact and Efficient. The ICEPower® series require hardly any cooling; have superb sound quality and competitive total cost efficiency.
Intelligent, Compact and Efficient - and it's a revolution in amplifier technology from Bang & Olufsen. It offers more power for less energy and produces a minimum of unwanted excess heat. With a size that's only slightly bigger than a matchbox, it offers incredible freedom to continue to challenge conventional loudspeaker design.
As the result of several years of fundamental research within the field of audio power conversion, Bang & Olufsen PowerHouse A/S was founded in 1999. The hard work finally paid off and the exploration of the wide range of ICEPower® applications could begin.
For the first time in the 75-year history of Bang & Olufsen A/S a private person was granted joint ownership. The joint venture between Bang & Olufsen A/S and inventor of ICEPower® Ph.D. Karsten Nielsen was the perfect combination. The established organisation with its experience and well-known quality brand made the ideas of the young entrepreneurial scientist come true.
Turning ICEPower® technology into products requires a flexible organisation, which allows for creating thinking and experimenting, followed by systematic and structured verification of ideas. Only the best ideas turn into exciting and innovative products.
Bang & Olufsen has a remarkably simple technical vision - a quest for point zero, or as stated by Karsten Nielsen:
"We pursue ideal power conversion from any point of view. This means 100% efficiency, zero distortion, zero noise, zero output impedance, zero volume/weight as ultimate research goals - basically a multiplier symbol. Ideal power conversion is indeed quite a challenging journey..."
BeoLab 1 - as well as BeoLab 2 - makes use of Bang & Olufsen's innovative ICEPower® technology. With practically no electric power loss and a greatly reduced cooling space, the new, compact digital power amplifier allows the bass unit in BeoLab 1 to produce a sound far beyond the dimensions of the cabinet.
As the very first product using ICEPower® technology from Bang & Olufsen PowerHouse a/s, BeoLab 1 was released for sale in Autumn 1999. 300 watts of ICEPower® technology are employed for bass reproduction, providing a phenomenal listening experience.
BeoLab 1 takes everything Bang & Olufsen knows about great sound and combines it with the innovative ICEPower® technology. With practically no electrical power loss and a greatly reduced cooling space, the compact ICEPower® digital power amplifier allows a bass reproduction in BeoLab 1 that is far beyond what one would expect from the physical dimensions of the cabinet. BeoLab 1 takes the Bang & Olufsen pursuit of natural sound reproduction to a new level.
Launched in the Spring of 2001, the BeoLab 2 subwoofer adds a new dimension to Bang & Olufsen sound experiences. BeoLab 2, completely based on ICEPower® amplification technology, is constructed as a double-balanced passive radiator system with an 850W ICEPower® amplifier supplying the fuel for one 21cm woofer and two 21cm passive radiators.
Second-generation ICEPower® technology allows Bang & Olufsen to put even more powerful amplifiers in smaller spaces. Furthermore, producing the optimal sound performance in all aspects of both video and audio material has remained a central issue in the creation of all mechanical, electronic and acoustic details.
BeoLab 2 features three custom designed long stroke loudspeaker units. Among other details the active driver has magnetic shielding to allow placement close to a TV set and it utilises a double spider-system for exact control of the linear movement.
Intelligence, compactness and efficiency are what ICE in ICEPower® technology represents. The module uses less electricity, reduces heat and uses 99 per cent of power input to make sound, compared to only 1 per cent in traditional sound systems. This technology can be found in B&O's top-of-the-line speaker, the Beolab 5. It packs lots of wattage in a small package only 8 cm by 8 cm square and 2 cm thick.
Co-founder and chief technological officer of B&O's new ICEPower® unit Karsten Nielsen explained: 'In traditional sound systems, only 1 per cent of the energy the amplifiers receive is used to make sound. The rest is lost as heat. This has been the technology for the last 40, 50 years'
His dissertation for his PhD led to ICEPower®, which switches the electrical supply on and off 400,000 times a second to reduce heat.
Less heat means no clumsy paraphernalia like big heat sinks or fans found on conventional speakers. 'Because we switch the supply very quickly, we can still maintain high-quality output to the loudspeakers', said Dr Nielsen.
(Source: The Straits Times, Tech & Science section, 27 June 2001)[/I]
The Latest ICEPower information can be found at the ICEPower Official Website
Created: 11th January 2007
Modified: 3rd March 2009