AI-enabled TWS development kit enables advanced features

AI-enabled TWS development kit enables advanced features

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Micro-acoustic microphones and speakers developer Knowles has announced an AI-enabled True Wireless Stereo (TWS) development platform designed to accelerate the product development process of TWS products, from entry-level to premium applications.
By Rich Pell

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The True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Development Platform offers a fully operational TWS development kit, which includes pre-tuned and pre-configured earbuds designed by the company paired with a Bluetooth-enabled processing platform. The earbuds come designed with the company’s SiSonic MEMS Microphone Arrays, voice vibration sensors, and a choice of premium speaker driver assemblies with Knowles Balanced Armatures to drive the development of advanced TWS features while reducing time to market and lowering the high costs associated with ground-up development.

The company says that it has engaged multiple partners to integrate premium features on the development kit that are designed to enable manufacturers to quickly add Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), ambient mode, high definition (HD) audio, voice command, voice call algorithms, and AI-enabled conversation enhancement.

“The market for TWS is expected to grow rapidly, driven by strong demand across all price segments,” says Raj Senguttuvan, Director of Strategic Marketing at Knowles. “Premium brands will continue to add emerging advanced features to their new TWS devices to create product differentiation and capture more value. Bringing our flexible and powerful TWS development platform to manufacturers will help innovators in the TWS market deliver emerging advanced features, built with premium Knowles technologies, to consumers faster.”

The processing platform at the core of the TWS development kit is the company’s IA8201 AISonic audio edge processor and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation’s CXD 3781 codec paired with a premium Bluetooth Audio System on Chip (SoC) to allow for immersive experiences and noise filtering. With high ANC and transparency performance, says the company, the design offers a competitive platform for development.

The Knowles IA8201 AISonic audio edge processor is optimized for advanced voice and audio processing. The development platform is flexible, allowing manufacturers to test their own configurations with detachable earbuds, integrate advanced features, and tune for performance and power consumption.

The earbuds come designed with the company’s high-performance Everest (SPH0690LM4H-1) digital microphones for high-quality audio capture. Built in a compact form factor to allow for flexible integration in highly space-constrained devices like TWS headsets, Everest digital microphones are offered as providing a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and acoustic overload point (AOP) combined with excellent wideband audio for studio grade performance and high-quality ANC.

For HD audio output, the earbuds are designed with a hybrid driver that includes a Knowles balanced armature tweeter and a dynamic woofer. Another version comes with the company’s smallest full-range balanced armature driver targeting discreet form factor TWS devices.

To meet rising demands for voice quality and intelligibility, the company says that it has partnered with Alango Technologies, a leading voice, hearing, and audio DSP solutions provider. Alango’s Voice Communication Package (VCP) with multi-microphone beamforming, and its OnlyVoice technology, which intelligently combines external beamforming with internal sensor-based voice processing, are both ported to the IA8201 processor. With low power consumption and memory requirements, these highly optimized solutions are designed to enable premium voice pickup for TWS devices.

Also included in the TWS kit is AITransparency+ from Chatable – the first AI specifically designed to exploit the next-generation AI processing capabilities of the IA8201 AISonic processor for “Conversation Enhancement.” AITransparency+ provides “Conversation Enhancement” and features advanced, on-chip, proprietary Deep Neural Network architectures performing over one hundred million AI calculations per second to enable selective acoustic enhancement of conversational speech signals without perceptible latency.

The TWS development kit is scalable and open to customization, allowing customers to leverage pre-tuned algorithms from the company’s partners or quickly tune their own algorithms for other use cases. The open, flexible nature of the kit, says the company, supports existing and emerging TWS premium features and next generation applications, leveraging best-in-class audio and hearing technologies with flexibility for future innovation.

The TWS development platform is now available to TWS manufacturers.

Knowles

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