Speech Technology Magazine

Conexant Systems and Sensory Partner

Companies collaborate on standalone audio subsystem.
Posted Jan 8, 2013
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Conexant Systems and Sensory have teamed up for a multiphase integration of Sensory's TrulyHandsfree voice control software with Conexant's Far-Field Voice Input Processor system on a chip. The partnership will bring Voice Trigger functionality to the fast-growing smart TV market.

Sensory's TrulyHandsfree Voice Control, supported in more than 40 countries and languages, is a suite of advanced speech recognition features, including Voice Trigger for speech activation (eliminating the button press on the remote), Voice Commands for simple command and control functions, Speaker Verification for user identification, and User Defined Triggers for creating custom trigger words.

"Conexant's Far-Field Voice Input Processor technology, combined with Sensory's TrulyHandsfree Voice Control and speech-recognition capabilities, delivers a…voice control experience that our…customer base has come to expect from us," said Sailesh Chittipeddi, Conexant's president and CEO, in a statement.

Conexant also announced the launch of its CX20865, its new high-performance far-field voice input processor system-on-chip (SoC) designed specifically for smart TVs. The CX20865 is the first dedicated far-field Voice solution with an integrated automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine, optimized for telepresence and voice control applications. Combined with Conexant’s proprietary Far-Field Voice pre-processing algorithms and integrated high-performance 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion, the CX20865 adds a differentiated Watch Live and Talk experience with popular VoIP applications, such as Skype TV, and delivers accurate voice control performance while the TV is blasting in high volume. The new Selective Source Pickup technology maintains speech recognition in the presence of random ambient interference, enabling live demos in the retail environment and tradeshows.

The voice pre-processing performance is enhanced to deliver better than an97 percent ASR hit-rate when the TV is playing sound at high volume. The new echo-cancellation supports stereo, 2.1CH, and 2+2CH internal speaker configurations. The improved de-reverberation and true wideband processing has radically enhanced the perceptual voice clarity. To this end, Conexant is also working with leading regional ASR vendors to optimize hit-rates and reduce false detection with their local and cloud-based ASR engines.

The featured Watch Live and Talk seamlessly blends voice conversation and TV entertainment into a single experience, allowing two parties to “share the moment” watching the same or different TV programs while carrying on a conversation. The experience also applies to voice-chat during multi-party game play on TV, without tethering to a headset.

Selective Source Pickup (SSP) is a breakthrough for Far-Field noise suppression in time-varying noisy environments. SSP distinguishes the targeted audience from random speech/noise interference by means of multi-source separation. The technology is optimized for ASR applications which go beyond traditional emulation of human auditory systems that are limited to human hearing intelligence. “A scenario such as an in-store demo at a large, crowded, noisy retailer shop has been plagued by low hit-rate and false detection,” noted Jonathan Chien, Conexant executive marketing director. “We have taken a unique approach to address this chaotic situation with Selective Source Pickup. The result is a significantly improved voice interaction experience in the retail shops, as the TV OEM intended.”

The CX20865 supports the following three major voice user modes:

  • Conversation – for clear and natural voice clarity in a large room; proven Skype TV certification experience.
  • Command and Control – for Local-based ASR hit rate optimization; wake-on voice; noise and echo rejection
  • Voice Dictation – for cloud-based natural language ASR hit-rate optimization; room/scene adaptation.

Other key features include the following:

  • Watch Live and Talk
  • Selective Source Pickup
  • Multi-vendor hit-rate optimization
  • Pre-tuned “hidden” microphone module for industrial design esthetics and performance
  • Far-Field Voice processing with AEC supporting Stereo, 2.1CH and 2+2 (tweeters and woofers) configurations
  • 32bit dual-core DSP with integrated data and program memory
  • Integrated DC/DC for power management
  • Quad 24 bit ADC and microphone preamp with independent microphone bias supply

“Conexant is at the forefront of far-field voice processing technology,” noted Saleel Awsare, vice president and general manager at Conexant, in a statement. “We provide the only turnkey solution, the necessary expertise, and support that enables our TV OEM partners to provide the best-in-class experience that allows them to keep up with the advancements in the human voice interface for smart TVs.”


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