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Audience raises the bar for advanced noise suppression
Posted: 28-Oct-2008 [Source: Audience]

[The Audience A1024 Voice Processor enables mobile phone users to hear and be heard in noisy environments.]

Mountain View, CA -- Audience raises the bar for advanced noise suppression with its new voice processor that includes a full suite of industry leading voice quality enhancements that enable mobile phone users to hear and be heard in noisy environments. The Audience A1024 Voice Processor is now sampling and provides industry-leading transmit and receive noise suppression, acoustic echo cancellation, and voice equalization.

According to a vice president in the LG Electronics R&D Center, “Our customers are delighted with the voice quality of LG mobile phones that include Audience’s noise suppression technology. The Audience voice processor provides the most advanced noise suppression available in the market, and we will continue to partner with them to offer our customers superior communications experiences in the noisiest places.”

New Voice Processor Offers Comprehensive Feature Set

While other industry vendors are working to improve their transmit, close-talk noise suppression, Audience now provides not only the most advanced noise suppression available but also an entire suite of crucial voice quality features including:

* Unprecedented instantaneous transmit noise suppression that provides consistent and reliable noise suppression of up to 30 dB (enough suppression to remove the noise of coffee grinders, blenders, background music and conversations from a busy coffee shop).

* For the first time in the market, up to 18 dB of receive non-stationary as well as stationary noise suppression from the far end - allowing mobile phone users to receive calls from noisy environments and hear the other person better.

* Significant improvement in speakerphone capability with Audience’s superior Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), lets mobile phone users have convenient hands-free voice conversations or video telephony calls without double-talk or echo even in noisy environments. The Full Duplex Type 1 AEC (per ITU-T P.340 specifications) provides industry leading Echo Return Loss Enhancement (ERLE).

* Voice Equalization that boosts and equalizes the incoming voice based on the level and for the duration of local background noise as the user moves through different noisy environments like a train station or a busy street.

“Voice quality is fundamental to satisfied users of mobile phones,” said Will Strauss, president and principal analyst at Forward Concepts. “And, they want good voice quality no matter where they are. Cell phones with Audience’s voice processor give consumers the noise suppression features they need to hear and be heard in any location despite the noise level.”

With the A1024, Audience continues to make strides in ease of integration with small footprint, industry standard interfaces and support for analog or digital microphones. Further; with its new FlexMic capability and Auto-Calibration capability, Audience gives handset manufacturers more control over microphone placement during the design phase and eliminates costly microphone calibration during the production phase.

* Packaged in a 40 pin WLCSP with 0.5 mm ball pitch, the Audience A1024 Voice Processor connects directly to any baseband processor via standard interfaces and occupies less than 25 square mm of board space. Multiple baseband reference designs are available to support customer design and development activities.

* Flexible front/back dual microphone configuration provides maximum flexibility to handset manufacturers for ID design and performance. Unlike beam forming solutions that require specific front/back mic locations, the A1024 supports a wide range of microphone placement, making it versatile for all popular handset types (candy bar, slider and clamshell).

* Audience’s Auto-Calibration feature takes input from the two microphones, and uses patent-pending techniques to equalize the signals, eliminating the performance variance due to microphone sensitivity. There are no adjustments required on the production line, saving significant production time and money.

Audience Voice Processors are the first custom ICs that are modeled after the most efficient and accurate auditory system, the human hearing system. By understanding the auditory pathway – from the cochlea to the brainstem to the thalamus and cortex – Audience is the first company to deliver a commercial product based on the science of Auditory Scene Analysis (ASA), or the grouping and processing of complex mixtures of sound. Because the Audience Voice Processor handles signals the way people actually perceive specific sounds, it is able to identify and suppress noise sources in an extremely efficient and accurate manner.

“With our first voice processor, the Audience A1010, we established ourselves as the leader in transmit noise suppression performance, allowing mobile phone users to place calls from noisy environments,” said Jennifer Stagnaro, vice president of marketing at Audience. “The A1024 raises the bar again, delivering unprecedented transmit noise suppression of up to three times more suppression than the A1010 as well as other significant voice quality features.”

"In fact, the level of suppression is so high, industry standard tools cannot correctly measure it,” Stagnaro added. “Audience is working with industry standards bodies, including the CTIA Working Group, to modify the methods to measure higher levels of noise suppression more accurately.”

Pricing and Availability

The Audience A1024 Voice Processor is sampling now. Sample pricing ranges from $5-7. The voice processor can be purchased through Audience directly, or through the company's international representatives and distributors. For cost sensitive handsets, the A1022 Voice Processor with an optimized feature set is also sampling.

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