ES8018 SABRE® Smart Power Amplifier (SPA) supports the thin design for the new Cat® S52 phone while delivering robust speaker protection across extreme conditions

< Newsroom | Posted: Tuesday December 17, 2019

Milpitas, California – ESS Technology, the industry leader in HiFi audio and analog design, announced today that the latest Cat® rugged Smartphone includes the new ES8018 Smart Power Amplifier (SPA).  The ES8018’s inductorless boost supports the Cat S52’s thin and sleek design by removing the bulky inductor required by competing SPAs.  The ES8018 also delivers uncompromising speaker protection, a critical item for Cats uniquely rugged phones that are designed to keep working even in tough environments like construction sites, backcountry exploring or off-grid adventures. They are waterproof and can withstand vibration, shock, and extreme temperatures.  The new Cat S52 is the sleekest design yet, it’s pocket friendly at just 9.69mm thin and 210g light. ESS’s unique smart power amplifier enabled Cat phones to meet their design goals because it is the smallest and thinnest SPA solution on the market.

The ES8018 provides the speaker production to match these intense requirements.  The ES8018 can deliver the audio power needed to make the phone audible in extreme conditions, as well as deliver top audio quality for music and video playback.  The ES8018 can do this while protecting the speaker from damage caused by both overheating and extreme movement, living up to Cat phones’s rock-solid reputation.

The ES8018 has a unique voltage-tripling capacitive boost that generates up to three times the battery supply without the use of a bulky and expensive inductor, which is typically is the thickest component in the audio circuit.  This is an advantage for the Cat S52 design which is striking a complex balance to be thin and light while delivering world class performance and rugged credentials.

“The ESS smart power amplifier was the natural choice for the Cat S52 to support our high performance and reliability requirements.”  said Peter Cunningham, VP Product Portfolio at Bullitt Group, global mobile licensee for Caterpillar Inc. “In addition, ESS’s inductorless solution helped us make the phone slimmer to reach our design goals”

Cat phones are also known for their long battery life, the ES8018 proprietary Multi-Level Class-D (MLCD) amplifier provides real world improvement in efficiency, allowing longer playback on the phone without impacting the battery.  The MLCD also causes less interfering radiation that can interrupt other electronic devices, a critical item in industrial applications, or where the network coverage is weak.

“ESS is thrilled to be a part of the Cat S52 phone and deliver a robust, high performance solution for such demanding application” Shawn Scarlett, Marketing Director for ESS Technology.  He added “Our Smart Power Amplifier Solution is delivering a differentiating performance for portable devices like mobile and laptops.”


About ESS Technology
For more than three decades, ESS Technology has been on the cutting edge of audio technology. A privately-held fabless semiconductor company, ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance analog and HiFi audio devices for mobile, consumer, automotive, and professional audiophile systems. The company was founded in 1984, and today ESS Technology is best known for its SABRE series of high-performance audio products. For more information, visit

About Cat devices and accessories:

The Cat brand stands for trustworthiness, durability, reliability and quality. The Cat DNA is found in every Cat mobile phone and accessory offered by Bullitt Mobile Ltd. and provides boundless experience with robust mobility.

To find out more about what Cat phones and accessories are made of, visit