Chip solutions provider DSP Group recently announced the availability of a development kit for Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS), to develop high-performance smart speakers, tablets and IoT products.
Named HDClear 3-Mic Development Kit, the solution is designed to help developers quickly build a range of high-accuracy Alexa-enabled devices, including smart speakers, wearable computing devices, remote controls and other smart home products can, without draining the battery, DSP Group says.
Developers want platforms that enable voice activation while maintaining extremely low power consumption and high performance.
The HDClear 3-Mic Development Kit satisfies the growing demand for voice user interfaces (VUIs) with three main components: a printed circuit board (PCB) with the DBMD5 audio processor, Raspberry Pi and a 3-microphone array — as well as pre-process noise-reduction, beam-forming and Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) algorithms for enhanced voice accuracy.
Operation is as simple as connecting it to a speaker and plugging it into power, reducing time to market and speeding development efforts, DSP Group says.
DBMD5 is an autonomous processing solution that enables any microphone-equipped device to continuously monitor for voice trigger and process voice commands. It also supports advanced voice features that allow the device to facilitate voice calls.
When integrated in smart speakers and IoT devices, DBMD5 leverages its voice enhancement algorithms to achieve more effective isolation of voice from surrounding noise, supporting effective voice gestures in almost any environment.
HDClear 3-Mic Development Kit’s sophisticated voice algorithms including acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, beamforming and far-field enhancement, improve the user experience and the accuracy of voice commands, particularly in high-noise environments. Without these algorithms, devices with closely coupled speakers and microphones would be inadequate for voice functions.
Also, power-optimized implementation for always-on IoT devices allows power-hungry application processors to remain in sleep mode during voice sensing, and also enables battery-powered devices to access Alexa. Power consumption well below 1mA for Alexa wake-word detection is supported.
The DSP’s solution is also scalable, as software configuration supports various types of smart speakers, digital assistants, wearable computing devices, smart home devices, remote controls, IoT devices and more, accommodating different requirements for microphones, speakers, audio flow toward the speaker(s), audio flow from the microphones, and acoustic designs.
The announcement is of strategic significance as well. “The migration toward voice user interfaces marks a sea-change in users’ interactions with electronic devices,” said Ofer Elyakim, CEO of DSP Group. “Working with Amazon is a vital step forward in our steady expansion into voice user interface technologies. OEMs and ODMs can literally pick up our development kit, plug it in and begin using it to create richly featured acoustic front-ends for Amazon AVS devices — while conserving precious board space and battery life. We believe this combination will play an instrumental role in the evolution of VUIs.”
“We envision a future where customers interact with Alexa everywhere and from any device,” said Priya Abani, director of Alexa Voice Service. “We’re excited to work with DSP Group to achieve this vision and offer developers additional tools that add to the various resources they already have available to build Alexa-enabled devices.”